This week, my social media has been full of spring break posts. Pictures of the beach, the mountains and the desert completely flooded both my Instagram and Facebook feeds. With the end of spring break will come the inevitable onslaught of “I wish I was here instead” posts that emphasize college students’ desires to perpetually be on spring break instead of being in school.
While many of the people I know took to exotic locales with college friends for a week of fun, I returned to my home of Saint Louis, Missouri for my spring break.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the weather of the Midwest this time of year, I spent my spring break bundled up in jackets and scarves to protect myself from the 30-degree or colder climate. It even snowed twice while I was home, despite the fact that spring is supposedly right around the corner.
I won’t lie, as I watched my friends enjoy their 80-degree Cancun vacation, a part of me wished that I too had planned a tropical getaway with pals. The cold weather and lack of beaches makes Saint Louis a less than ideal location for spring break. While I am sure I would have been perfectly happy spending my break on the beach with friends, I was definitely happier spending my week at home with family.
As an out-of-state student, weekends at home are literally impossible. Thanks to the Richmond airport’s lack of direct flights, it takes me about 10 hours to get from Williamsburg to Saint Louis. If I were to attempt to return home for a weekend, I would end up spending half of my weekend traveling. Most out-of-state students have it even worse than I do, and many international students could not even make it home for spring break. Because of my distance from my home, I truly treasure any time that I get to spend with my parents and little sister during the school year.
My family is the reason why I will never regret saying no to going to a more ideal climate for my spring break. Honestly, I may never get to have the typical college spring break experience, and that’s okay.
When I chose to go to the College of William and Mary, a school that is 13 to 15 hours away from my house, I knew I was going to have to make some sacrifices. One of those sacrifices being that I cannot go home on the weekends when I miss home. Instead, I take full advantage of my longer breaks and spend as much time at home with my family as possible.
Frankly, I think all students, regardless of how far away from campus they are, should consider going home for their spring breaks or taking a vacation with their families instead of their friends. Even though the typical college spring break is obviously lots of fun, is it really any different than a regular weekend at the College? Unless you’re headed to explore another country, spring break is just a week-long party that happens to be near the ocean. The appeal of college spring break is the freedom, lack of responsibility and absence of parental supervision or judgement, but doesn’t that describe every weekend at college?
Personally, I think it is worth sacrificing a week of partying and beach time in order to spend time with family. Before you know it, you’ll have a full-time job in another city, state or maybe even country. You won’t have the opportunity you have now to take a week off and hang out with your parents. So, while you may be tempted to use your breaks to let loose on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, consider going home instead. Your family will appreciate it more than you think. We should all make an effort to spend as much time with our families while we have the time, even if it means missing out on a week at the beach.
Email Katherine Yenzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.