It’s Spring Break, baby!

March 1st, 2012

The middle of the second semester marks a milestone in the school year of the typical college student: 20-year-olds packing cars destined for Panama City for a crazy week basking in the party scene. Diligent students putting down the books and picking up the suntan lotion.

Girls trade in their Ugg boots and henley sweaters for Victoria’s Secret polka dot bikinis and pink flip-flops. College boys cram in their friend’s worn and torn 1999 Toyota Corolla as they set off on a quest for the holy grail of the social scene. The Promised Land is close in reach, and it’s called Spring Break.

The bags are packed. The hopes are high. The sky’s the limit. You’re eager to make this infamous “girls gone wild” stereotype that movie after movie has portrayed a reality.

Hopefully this expedition doesn’t include any arrests for public intoxication or indecency; or even worse, a surprise trip to the emergency room after stepping on a stingray.

Then the dream vanishes, and you’re back at home. Gas costs skyrocket to $4 per gallon, your friend’s car continues to make a suspicious noise that resembles Chewbacca from “Stars Wars” and you come to the grave realization that your Spanish books alone took a huge chunk out of your disposable income.

Now what to do?

Even though your fantasy of long walks on the beach is shattered, you can still make this year’s Spring Break memorable by following some of these simple ideas:


Idea #1: De-stress and finally get the rest & relaxation that you need.

The second semester has most likely already brought its share of late-night cramming sessions and days when you have fought the urge to run out of your calculus class screaming in frustration. Why not seize the opportunity of a break from the hustle and bustle of classes to catch up on some much-needed sleep?

Take advantage of the free two-week trial at your neighborhood gym and take a yoga class to unwind through stretching and meditation or treat yourself to a day of being pampered at a hair salon and spa complete with a mani-pedi.

Idea #2: Can’t go to Florida? Bring Florida to you.

So you’re not quite going to make it to the Sunshine State? No need to sweat it. After a trip to your local CVS, library and grocery store that are just around the corner, you can to bring a little bit of the beach  back with you, and have some fun in the sun in your room, without the jellyfish.

A few simple ingredients to a day of faux-Florida include a book hot off of the best-sellers list, Jergens sunless tanning lotion, a box of Orange Creamsicles and a beach towel complete with bright colors and palm trees. Mix together and voilà: a recipe for Spring Break perfection for the poor college student.

Idea #3: Explore the comforts of your hometown.

Who says you can’t have fun in the city where you were born and raised? Whether you’re heading back to Buffalo and spending a day at Niagara Falls, driving home to Pittsburgh and stopping at the cultural district to see a show at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, or staying in the Cleveland area and taking a day trip to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the new Cleveland Aquarium or the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, you’re guaranteed to appreciate your home city a little more. Strapped for cash? The Cleveland Museum of Art is free. Spare cash? Head over to Little Italy for pizza at Mamma Santos.

Idea #4: Road trip

OK, so you can’t quite afford the 20-hour drive to Florida – but why not reevaluate your group’s plans? Instead of guzzling all that gas, strategize to cut your trip into about two hours or so. Or consider taking the Megabus to Chicago for a day trip to avoid putting a dent in your wallet.

With these ideas, you can have the break you deserve after all the hard work you’ve put in for the first half of the semester. Sure, it may not include late night parties in the Florida heat, but rest assured that you won’t have to worry about that crazy Spring Break video circulating the Internet.