The value of a productive spring break


By Hayley Nagelberg

The tagline of the painfully risqué movie “Spring Breakers” was “a little sun can bring out your dark side.” The movie depicts a crazy spring break adventure full of a parent’s worst nightmares.

If you haven’t seen the movie, maybe you’re a “Friends” fan, and you recall the scene where Ross learned that it is simply assumed spring break is for partying. Chandler poses a question to Ross regarding his girlfriend Elizabeth. He asks, “Wait a minute, is she going for spring vacation or is she going for spring break? (Does a little whooping/party noise.)”

When Ross asks what the difference is, Monica responds, “Well, spring vacation is doing nice things with your grandparents. Spring break, you’re doing frat guys.”

Why is it assumed that is the only acceptable way to spend our spring breaks?

When spring break came around for students of the University, we had made it 10 weeks into the semester and got a one-week break before finishing out the last six weeks strong.

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Those ten weeks were full of quizzes, exams, meetings, group projects, social gatherings and little sleep. It would seem that after that intense period, people would want a break from the chaos of school life. Yet many students take trips that require significant planning, money and time, with the only real benefit being the ability to drink on the beach.

This year, I, along with more than 20 other students from the University, went to a conference in DC full of speeches, presentations and lobbying appointments. While this may not sound like the relaxing, recharging break I just suggested, it was something that interested me greatly and let me catch up with friends from all over the country. And it was only half the break — the other half of my vacation was still open for more relaxing endeavors.

Many other students use their spring breaks to take meaningful service trips. Taking a week, or even just a day or two of your break, to volunteer and give back to the community is an incredible use of time and an opportunity you don’t always have during the busy school year.

In lieu of volunteering, Easter often falls on spring break, allowing students the perfect opportunity to catch up with their families and just spend a day relaxing together.

Even if you didn’t want to go to a conference, or have fancy get togethers with your whole extended family, you don’t have to run away to a beach. You can stay home, rest, eat great food, have your mom do your laundry and maybe even binge watch that show all your friends were talking about.

Having time to reconnect with friends and family and network for the future in fields that interest you would seem to be a much better use of our time off. 

These crazy parties cut off from society shouldn’t be the norm for college students on spring break.While everyone is entitled to live their own life as they choose, this break in our schedule should be taken as a chance to do something positive with our time and acquire the motivation needed to end the year strong. 

Partying with your friends may be fun for a while, but when you add up the cost — literally the expense and the toll it takes on your body — you will see it’s not all that it’s chalked up to be. 

Hayley is a freshman in ACES.

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