By Tirzah McMillan
The Student’s Lifestyle Editor, Tirzah McMillan, gives her take on five ways to enjoy Spring Break at home.
Between watching teen movies, and talking to older friends, almost everyone arrives at college under the impression that Spring Break is meant to be spent at some all-inclusive resort, while soaking in the Caribbean sun, lathered up in tanning oil, in addition to the self tanner you’ve been using since January, surrounded by colorful alcoholic drinks with cute little umbrellas in them. It sounds like what I imagined life to be for Zack and Cody when the Suite Life of on Deck aired on Disney, minus adult supervision. And last time I checked, I don’t have S.S. Tipton money.
For those of you traveling to Cancun, Daytona Beach, San Diego, or any other sunny, tropical destinations, you deserve it — I’m sure we’ll see it all on instagram. However, for those of you who are heading back home, it’s perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t always have to go far to have fun, and you don’t have to empty your wallets to have a good time either.
For the latter, here are some budget friendly, carefree ways to spend your days away from school!
It’s never too late for “me time,” especially on the one week you are not designated to do any extra school work. Between juggling the weight of classes, exams, jobs, finding time to eat, workout, have a social life, and get eight hours of sleep? The least you can for yourself is take an entire day, or week in this case, to just relax.
Going back home enables you to catch up on all the things you have been missing. This can include quality time with family, snuggling up to a good book, watching literally as many television shows and movies as you could possibly want, or simply taking a good nap.
Sitting on your couch or laying on your bed can seem a bit mundane, but just remember that kicking back and freeing your body and mind from all unnecessary stressors, is a critical part of the process in finding balance.
- Go to the Beach (or the nearest body of water)
I have never been a fan of cold water, but I’ve always been a sucker for sunsets. Living in New Jersey, I have the privilege of choosing from an array of different beaches, each with their own unique characteristics. Sometimes I’m in the mood for the boardwalk and Johnson’s popcorn, so I’ll take a trip to Atlantic City. Other times, I’m craving a more scenic destination, so I’ll go to Long Beach Island and take a look at the lighthouse or just enjoy looking down the stretch of the shore. The ride is usually 45 minutes to an hour from my house, and doesn’t take up much gas.
Even though it is still a little chilly, there is nothing wrong with grabbing a friend (or going solo), putting on a sweatshirt, placing a blanket on the sand, and just enjoying the crisp waves, salty breeze, while watching the beautiful ball of fire set on the horizon.
For those of you who may not live near a beach, it’s always a great idea to find a calm river, stream, or little brook to take a stroll by and just appreciate all that nature has to offer.
You thought you had to be sitting on some sunny beach in Punta Cana for the booze to stay? No way, Jose. Of course, while keeping the legal drinking age in mind (yes, yes, “of course” you then say) it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, so time to crack open a cold one.
Why take an expensive flight to the party when you can just bring the party to you? Or in some cases, be the party. It is likely that not everyone took a mini vacation, so hit up some friends from your hometown, turn up the music, and get the good vibes going.
- Take a hike or go camping
The world is your oyster, and if you just do some quick research and a little bit of preparation, you can find beauty almost anywhere. Lately, I’ve been on a spontaneous trip binge, so if it were me, I would probably fill a large water jug, tell my brother to grab a ton of snacks, pack bug spray, and hit the road towards the nearest trail with a decent view.
Immersing yourself in nature is proven to contribute to physical wellbeing, can reduce anger, fear, stress, and has the ability to increase pleasant feelings. This is all the more reason to just go out and do it.
Camping will take more time to plan, and will require additional effort when it comes to prepping food, making sure you are in a safe location, pitching the tent, etc. But in the end, it can be a more rewarding experience, and can count as a mini vacay, because you are taking time to be away from home, and enjoy yourself alongside the company you may bring to explore.
- trEAT yo’self
I don’t know about you, but I love to eat. One of the easiest, most enjoyable things you can do is complete a quick google search, and find some new cuisines to go out and try. Not to mention, last time I checked, there is no requirement to wear a bikini, so save that summer body FOR THE SUMMER. Working out is healthy too, but you get the point.
In addition to fueling your body while trying something new, going out to eat gives you the control over how far you want to travel, and how much money you spend. If you don’t feel like leaving the house, ordering in is always a great option, or finding new recipes to try at home is a sure way to experiment, while preparing yourself for the future in your own home one day.
At the end of the day, Spring Break is what you make of it. It does not have to be luxurious, or expensive, just because it’s the status quo. Whether you decide to make some extra cash at work, take up a new yoga class, or just sit inside cuddling with your dog, make sure that when you return to school you are feeling refreshed and ready to crush the end of the semester!