Guide to spring break by year in school


By Kate Cullen

It seems as if spring has finally fought its way through the snow-filled clouds, past the icy air and around the frozen tundra that has been the past winter. Winter has put up a good fight and has held on firmly, but spring has finally begun to break through, and it is a beautiful thing.

Just like the Wicked Witch of the West from the “Wizard of Oz,” the winter snow has been crying out tragically, “I’m melting.”

After a truly terrorizing winter, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel this past weekend and that light is filled with bunnies, green grass and warm weather. The forty-degree days felt like summer to most students as coats were shed to bask in the warm outdoors. Runners happily splattered through the mud because it was the first weekend they could run outside safely without the fear of getting frostbite on their noses.

The recent time change that compels our clocks to spring ahead and the onset of warmer weather can only mean one thing: Spring break is upon us.

The much-needed break comes at an opportune time — right after the long-labored winter and right before the conclusion of the school year. While midterms always fall around the two weeks prior to spring break, students are able to suffer through their exams because it makes the weeklong retreat that much sweeter.

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Most students probably have their spring break plans finalized, beside the predictable procrastinators who will try to throw together a last minute “road trip,” which will inevitably fall through. Spring break promoters bombard students in the fall with their all-inclusive deals, tempting students with the warm weather and free meals — two things college students just cannot pass up. Promoters will conduct their last-ditch efforts to fill up the remaining spots in the coming weeks, but beware of these attractive deals because more times than not, they are much worse than they sound.

While the deal may say all-inclusive, the fine print may describe that you have to drive thirty minutes from the resort to a community recreational center to get to said free meal, not that I’m speaking from experience. 

Typically, freshmen do not participate in the traditional college spring break, simply because their new friendships may still be in flux, and they haven’t yet learned the ropes of planning a successful spring trip. But don’t be dismayed freshmen, you will be much more comfortable watching Netflix on your couch than you would trying to get a Wi-Fi signal on the beach.

Sophomores, on the other hand, enthusiastically plan a trip for the break because they do not want to miss out on another year of fun in the sun. In my experience, it seems that sophomores go for the all-inclusive deals because they sound attractive not only to students, but also to parents who often fund the trips. For example, South Padre Island in Texas is always a popular location that many sophomores tend to flock to due to the all-inclusive deals offered there.

The all-inclusive deals are great because most times, huge groups are able to all go together. Students, typically in the Greek system, pick a promoter and a location and decide where the group should all go. No one knows exactly who picks the location — I imagine that a group of frat stars meet in an undisclosed location, perhaps in a vacant parking lot, and decide ominously upon the destination.

While these types of trips are a great time, they are often filled with constant group activities, which leave little room to plan events of your own.

In my sophomore year, a promoter advertised South Padre Island to students, and the main attraction was that Phil Breezy from “The Real World” would be there all week. My friends and I were obviously easily persuaded after hearing that huge selling point. Phil Breezy is a lot bigger in real life than he looks on TV.

Juniors who choose to not study abroad may also opt for the large group trip, but there’s not much else to say about what juniors do because they’re the awkward middle sibling in the college world — not the youngest, not the oldest, nothing special.

And then there are the tired, old seniors who, by the time they reach their fourth spring break, just want to relax on the beach with some peace and quiet. They are the grumpy old men sitting on their porch screaming at children to get off their lawn — they just want to be left alone and talk about how things used to be. Oh, to be young and be able to endure a weeklong party.

No matter what your plans are for the break that is quickly approaching, I am sure you are in for a good time with friends and family. After this past winter, our break is well deserved.

Kate is a senior in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected].