Spring break is an important part of any university student’s calendar. What to do with that much deserved pause from a hectic academic schedule is a decision not to be made lightly! When it comes to decide how to spend that hard earned time off, the chance to have as much fun as possible tends to take precedence over other options for most students. And rest assured, a beach party might add up to the quintessential spring break to many. But there are plenty of other ways to enjoy your time away from the classroom. No matter what you’re into: there’s definitely a spring break for you.
So let’s brainstorm a little about what else you can do on your next spring break without falling into some tired cliched. Here’s how you can feel yourself engaged in something meaningful, memorable and, of course, fun!
Volunteer for a Worthy Cause
Spring break represents a chance to lend a helping hand to people in need. “Voluntourism” offers the reward of contributing to a worthy cause while discovering a new destination and learning about different cultures. Moreover, volunteering your time as a volunteer can offset the costs of travel with meals, accommodations, and some transport and activities covered by the organization that hosts you.
Depending on what motivates you most, you may find there’s a homeless shelter or soup kitchen a short drive away from where you study. Or a project far away that’s seeking earnest young people to turn well-intentioned dreams into reality. Care about animal conservation? Maybe there’s an outfit in the jungles of Borneo or Sri Lanka that’s keen to tap into your zeal. Believe in alternative energy and emergency preparedness? Communities in the mountains of Puerto Rico might have some perfect short-term volunteer work for you! Just be sure you don’t just show up somewhere, but reach out to see where you are needed instead.
Dabble in Your Career
Spring break can be the perfect time to “play professional” by choosing to dabble a bit in the line of work you hope to pursue once graduated. Is there a media internship in New York, an archaeological dig in Belize, or a temp job anywhere that aligns with your career ambitions? Showing potential employers and other key players in your career goals that you mean business — and you’re willing to commit — is a great way to standout in any competitive field. Go for it!
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Take a Deep Breath
As opposed to a spring fling that’s all about going out and partying…how about a reflective respite focused on well being and connecting with your inner self? A yoga retreat, vegan-only vacation, or mediation workshops in serene settings such as Sedona, AZ, or Big Sur, CA, could be just what you need to recharge and get ready for the next term when classes are back in session. Think about it. That healthy glow and positive vibe you put out will benefit everybody around while helping you ease into the new class schedule once spring break is over!
Go It Alone
Similar to booking a yoga retreat or some sort of other wellness vacation, deciding to have a solo spring break when looking for cheap flight tickets might be a wise way to unwind and get back in touch with yourself and your priorities. Need some ideas? You can head out on a hike along the Appalachian Trail or into Yosemite National Park. Or spend a week camping off the grid on the island of Kauai. How about hitting the highway for a spontaneous road trip and see where the road takes you? You might make new friends, have that elusive “Eureka!” moment”, or find the time to realize what decisions you need to make for the big academic and professional moves you’ll soon need to make. It’s your moment!
Any students out there have some tips to share on how to make the most of spring break? And sagacious alumni, what are your most cherished memories of alternative spring breaks from your college days? Let us know!