When I originally started writing this post, it was a beautiful day outside with sun and cheer. It’s not like that anymore. There is snow again, and I have to wear my puffy jacket everywhere. Y’all know Illinois weather. I just wish it were warm already. But the good news is that spring break is in a week! Omg, what do we do?
Before I start, I want everyone to rack their brains to imagine what spring break is like in college. Everyone has a different experience, and I am going to list some options you can take advantage of while at Illinois.
Okay, I love breaks. It’s a chance to sit back and not worry about classes for a whole week. But people spend their spring breaks differently. While a lot of students go home, a fair amount stays. Some people take trips with friends while others use the week to catch up on homework. Spring break is anything you want it to be.
My freshman year, I spent my spring break at home and had a good time relaxing, but I really wished I had done something. So, my sophomore year, I took a class that had a spring break trip with it. The class was Honduras Water Project (which you can all take when you are on campus). In the class, students design a water system for a community in Honduras. After we collected any extra information we needed, we traveled there over break. I had a blast. I was so happy that I decided to do something instead of staying home. This year for spring break, I am doing the exact same thing, except in Guatemala. I’ll also be mentoring the class instead of being a participant. These are definitely opportunities that you can all take advantage of when you’re on campus. You just have to keep your eyes out for them.
Here’s a list of things you can do over spring break.
1. Go Home
If home is close enough that you can return and have enough time to hangout with family or friends, do it. I would recommend this for people who are not particularly looking to spend any money and want to spend time with family or friends.
2. Stay on Campus
Odds are that you are not the only person staying on campus— lots of people do. Many students stay on campus if they live out-of-state or in a different country, since their homes are hundreds or even thousands of miles away. I would recommend this option for those of you who are looking to catch up on school work, need some alone time, or want to pick up extra hours at their on campus job. The residence halls do close, but if you’re worried about having a place to stay, the university always has housing options available over breaks. You can find all of that information on the Illinois housing website.
3. Go on a Trip With Some Friends
Collect your friends and road trip to the Smoky Mountains! Spring break doesn’t always mean taking flights outside of the country or going to a beach (but it can be if you want). If you really need a break from campus and school, I would highly encourage you to look into this option. I feel like what stops a lot of people from traveling during spring break is the worry about money. If you are in this situation, I recommend planning early and looking into smaller getaways. Just because break is a week long doesn’t mean you have to be gone for that long, and there are lots of small trips you can take to local state parks.
4. Volunteer for a Service Project
I remember in my freshman year I keep seeing an ad for a spring break volunteer trip. It was to NOLA and they were going to go help rebuild homes. I remember telling myself that I should apply, but I ended up missing the deadline. But you can definitely take advantage of this option! If you want to spend your break doing something that impacts the lives of others and meet some new friends, I encourage you to look into one of these trips.
5. Study Abroad
Okay, let’s say you don’t sign up for a class that takes a study abroad trip, but you still want to do it. There are a ton of programs within the study abroad office that offer week-long trips to many parts of the country. You can check out a new place and meet some friends along the way. If you want to explore a new place and potentially earn some class credit, look into study abroad programs. There are also a lot of scholarships available for those who may not know how to fund the trip. Remember to look into these way before break because most have application deadlines months before.
Alright, now you all have some options on what to do with a spring break. Honestly, all of these can be applied to fall, winter, and summer breaks too. Keep an eye out for emails, bulletin boards, or the study abroad website if you want to go some place new.
I hope you all have a relaxing spring! That’s it for this one, friends.