Hollywood makes college spring break appear to be the epitome of party life. Movies depict a carefree, weeklong, tropical vacation with twenty of your closest friends. For college freshmen, this Hollywood phenomenon may give off the wrong impression of the typical spring break experience. Unfortunately, it often means a full week of work or studying for upcoming midterms. It is important to find the perfect balance between relaxing and enjoying your break, while also preparing for upcoming assignments. Here are five ways you can have a fun and productive spring break:
Okay, so this may seem very obvious. However, it is easy to get carried away with the excitement of spring break. Maybe you plan to visit your high school friend’s college because they are not on break. Maybe you try to line up several hang out sessions with all of your home friends. And maybe you overextend yourself and set up a full week of work. Whatever you end up doing, one week flies by. So make sure you schedule in time to sleep and recharge your batteries.
- Hang out with friends and family
You may be tempted to hop in bed and binge watch Netflix shows all day and night, but make sure you socialize too. If you live on campus, college significantly takes away from the amount of time you get to spend with family and friends. So use spring break to reconnect with the supportive and positive people in your life. The time you invest hanging out with your family or catching up with old friends can help make your break productive and fulfilling.
- Create your own staycation
A cheap and easy way to have fun over spring break is to create your own “staycation”. In other words, plan a vacation at home. You can try new things in your area such as paintballing, going to the zoo or taking a hike. A staycation could even encompass a movie marathon of your choice. Grab some popcorn and snuggle up to enjoy a day of your favorite flicks. The important thing is to relax and enjoy a break from the typical routine.
Whether it’s your dorm room, study schedule or exercise plan, break is a great time to get organized. When it comes to midterms, time-management is key. It is impossible to properly prepare for five midterms in one week of time. Attempts to do so may lead to stress eating, sleep deprivation, mental breakdowns or the simply “I give up phase;” none of which translate well for your health or your grades. Planning when to study for an exam or when to write a paper is crucial. If you don’t plan, you may put all your energy into one midterm and cause your performance on the subsequent assignments to suffer. Buying a planner or making daily to-do lists are great ways to stay on top of your responsibilities.
Did I really just say that? Yes, yes I did, but hear me out. After you catch up on sleep and hang out with your friends, it’s a good idea to view your upcoming assignments. You owe it to your future self to take advantage of the break and study so that you don’t have a major headache when classes resume. You will thank yourself for getting a head start on that monster paper. Oh, and if you are one of the college students that do have midterms after break, of course you should study! Procrastination does not lead to successful results, especially during midterms. Find a sunny spot in your house or go to a local library to set up shop and hit the books.
Spring break can be a fun and refreshing mid-semester pause. It is important for your health that you truly take a “break” from your responsibilities. Going for a walk, hanging out with friends or catching up on some sleep are all great ways to unwind from a hectic semester.