See ya spring break ’16!

Last week was such a tease for what summer ’16 is about to be! Sunshine, warm weather, friends, no homework – I mean, it honestly can’t get much better, right?! Spending a week in Florida, on the beach, with friends, with temperatures at 80* or above – it was honestly heaven! I was in no way ready to come back here and get back into a routine of classes and homework. Let’s be thankful for those of us who are not graduating that we get to have at least one more spring break! 🙂

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With five weeks left of classes and a week of final exams, many of us are not sure how we will ever reach the end after a full week of leisure! For many of us, there are still numerous homework assignments, a few exams, and probably a few pop-quizzes left to complete before we can be on our way to summer break – so let’s hope for the best and hope that we will get through it!

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Here are some thoughts that many college students have when spring break is coming to a close:

  • The weekend before school starts back up – “is this really happening?!”
  • While traveling back to school – “I’d much rather stay home with my pets and never move for the rest of my life”
  • First opening your planner/schedule – “so about that assignment that I was supposed to do over break…”
  • The first Monday morning class – “I can go back to sleep in roughly 3 hours and 27 minutes.”

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Getting back into the swing of things can be hard and definitely emotionally taxing. However, we’re only a few short weeks from summer and you can consider that an extended, fun-filled, and awesome spring break!

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5 Things to Get Excited About Post-Spring Break

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So the semester isn’t over yet? I could’ve sworn it was based on my exhaustion. I totally understand why 93% of the campus is dragging their feet to class this week, but here are some reasons you shouldn’t:

1. It isn’t freezing anymore

Yes, you were so annoyed to be back to the hustle and bustle of the college life after a week of sweet nothings that you completely forgot to notice that the freezing air was no longer hurting your face as you walked to class. Yes, it is pouring rain, but hey, all the more reason to not get ready in the morning am I right?

2. You’re almost there

You’ve managed to survive 10 whole weeks of classes and you only have a measly five more to go. It is the home stretch!

3. Warm weather makes people nicer/happier

People are evidently nicer when the weather is nice. Just a couple more weeks and people will go from darting from building to building, buried in their parkas, avoiding human interaction, mumbling swear words to themselves as icy show whips them in the face to taking leisurely walks, socializing and smiling again. Maybe that’s just me, maybe not.

4. RELAY FOR LIFE

The most fun all-nighter you will ever attempt to pull is less than a month away! On April 8 in the Dome, the UC community is in for a night of music, games and some serious cancer fighting. Last year, Relay For Life raised over $22,000 for the American Cancer Society and it’s looking like we are going raise even more money this year! You really don’t want to miss out on this. Join the fight at relayforlife.org/uticacollegeNY.

5. Moose Madness Weekend

Assuming you’re all going to push-off studying for finals until the night before, you have an amazing Moose Madness weekend to look forward to! Moose Madness begins on the last day of classes and features an annual spring concert, sporting events and other activities. You wouldn’t want to miss that, would you?

Hang in there, folks. It ain’t over till it’s over.

 

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Spring Break Fever, Anyone?

As midterm week is winding down and spring break is coming up, where will UC students flock for a week of fun in the sun? I took it upon myself to look up the most common spring break party spots, and according to the travelchannel.com, here’s where college students are most likely to end up at on their week off.

  1. Panama City, Florida: The Travel Channel names it the “unofficial spring break headquarters,” but to the naked eye it probably looks more like a hot mess. The popular Holiday Inn Sunspree is located directly on the Gulf of Mexico and promises to be a good time for college student with its beachfront themed parties and wide variety of bars and clubs.
  2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: How a majority of college students can afford this, I will never know. But according to the travel channel, the white sandy beaches of Punta Cana offer many all-inclusive options for students which include meals, drinks and water sports.
  3. Nassau, Bahamas: Nassau is the most popular spring break location of all the Bahamas islands. Famous for its Mardi Gra parties and all-inclusive hotels, Nassau is also home to popular locations like Senor Frogs. Some packages even include a free tour of Blue Lagoon.
  4. Cancun, Mexico: A location known for being a vacation spot for celebs is surprisingly a popular spring break destination as well. According to travelchannel.com, students can let loose at the all-inclusive Oasis Cancun hotel, famous for its beach-side dance parties.
  5. Negril, Jamaica: This serene spring break destination is for those more low key college students who enjoy a laid-back party atmosphere. This tropical paradise is famous for concerts and nightlife at Margaritaville.

For more info on these destinations and more popular spring break locations, visit www.travelchannel.com/interests/spring/articles/spring-breaks-party-spots.

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My Spring Break Checklist

In the near future lies the middle of the semester, and most importantly, Spring Break! Needless to say, I, like many other students, cannot wait! The sun, the beach, warmth, friends and family await me in Daytona Beach, Florida, in just one short week. Until I leave, I have quite a few things to complete so I can have a relaxing week in the sunshine.

Homework, completing an online class, a biology exam, and two papers are between me and break.

 

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Currently, my to-do list before leaving for break looks like this:

  1. Complete final project for AGE 218 online and submit it.
  2. Post final discussion for AGE 218 online and comment on other’s projects.
  3. Take second Biology exam.
  4. Complete and submit next research paper for HLS 113 online.
  5. Finalize discussion forums for AGE 411.
  6. Post discussion questions for HLS 113 online and respond to four people.

Though it does not seem like that much, I’m trying to complete it all before leaving so I don’t have to do anything other than relax!

Most of my to-do list covers the first few days back from Spring Break, as well. By planning to get ahead and not procrastinate, I am hoping to make the best of this vacation!

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Have a “Staycation” this Spring Break!

Spring Break is here! I’m so happy. For those lucky enough to be headed toward an exotic location, please disregard this post. (And have a blast obvs!) I’m going to New York for a few days, but other than that, I’m as free as a bird. I’m literally thrilled that an entire week stretches out before me, and I’m not obligated to do anything! No early morning classes, no labs, no meetings…I’m actually a little frightened about all of the free time I’ll have.

Actually, I take that back. I’m so excited about all of my free time, and I’m sure that you are too! Spring break is a nice refresher in the middle of (what I consider to be) a long and dreary semester. The Spring semester is always a little bit more dreary than the fall semester because the Winter here in upstate New York just seems to stretch on. Spring break is about that time when the weather starts to turn, and the boots and coats can be retired until the next year.

So, are you frightened or thrilled about all of your free time? Either way, you’re going to have some free time. So here are some of my tips on how to have yourself a little “staycation” or a vacation while in the comfort of your very own home.

1. Plan a day where you do nothing. Literally put aside a day during the week you have off, and don’t change out of your pajamas. Marathon your favorite show on netflix, or find a good  book and attempt to finish the entire thing in one sitting. Don’t eat a proper meal (unless you want to!) and count microwave popcorn as an essential food group. Bonus: Don’t look at your phone all day. Shut it off. Don’t answer any texts/calls. Be disconnected.

2. Make a To-Do List. Think of everything (that you know of) that is due before the end of the semester. Get started on it! I have a few papers that aren’t due until the end of the semester, but I already have all of the information to get started…so I’m going to get started. I plan to finish a bunch of assignments during spring break in order to give myself some leeway when things get really rough (assignment wise) during the finals weeks of the semester.

3. Get Creative with your Meals. While you may not be at some exotic locale, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge your taste buds! Go and buy a coconut, and stick a straw in it! Or, get some sushi and eat that for dinner. I plan on getting mexican quite a few times during break, and justifying it by saying that it’s a part of my staycation-I’d rather be in Mexico!

4. Have some creative fun! Build a fort and lounge around in it. If it’s warm enough, set a tent up and camp out! Go and buy a hula skirt from a costume store and wear it around your house. Bonus points if you also add the coconut bra and lei! Instagram your “day at the beach” when really you just put on flipflops and took a walk around the block.

5. Be a tourist in your own area! My ultimate vacation is anywhere I can wander around a museum for hours. (I went to the Louvre and cried I was so overwhelmed!) So, lucky enough, I live near Utica and they have an art museum open to the public! So, look into what you can go to! If you’re into concerts, look at what local musicians are playing a gig. Think about what someone who has never been to your hometown would want to see, and go there! Take pictures! Be as corny as possible! There are loads of things going on and things to do, you just have to seek them out!

So these are my little tips for having a great spring break, while still staying home. I hope everyone has a safe and fun break no matter what you chose to do!

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Why It’s Okay to Not Go Anywhere for Spring Break

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There’s this idea that you have to go somewhere crazy for spring break. Ideally, it should be someplace warm, tropical, and far, far away from Utica, NY. But if someone asks you where you’re going for Spring Break, it’s not uncommon to get looked at like you have six heads when you reply, “Nowhere.”

The truth is, not all of us have the resources, time, or patience for setting off on a wild adventure when spring break rolls around. Maybe you’re saving your money, or maybe you’ve got a big project to work on and can’t sacrifice a full week. Or perhaps you’re like me, and you just don’t feel like traipsing across the countryside when you could be sleeping.

Despite what television tells you, it’s okay to not going anywhere over break. In fact, it could be the best decision you make for yourself. Here’s why:

  1. The obvious reason: save money. Unless you’ve got money coming out of your eyeballs, it is highly unlikely that you’re at a time in your life with gobs of disposable income. Save your money now, so you can take that amazing trip to Italy or Disneyland with your future family later on in life.
  2. De-stress. Vacations, in theory, sound relaxing. You envision yourself sprawled out on a sandy beach with the sun beaming down on you, and your worries are miles away in NY. But here’s the reality: you argue with your friends over splitting the cost of gas to get there, you get lost on the way, that cheap motel you got is a health hazard, you’re too hungover to enjoy the sunlight on the beach, and everything costs money. Instead of putting yourself through all that, just kick back at home and enjoy a few days off from classes.
  3. Catch up on sleep. I don’t know about you, but college has really made me appreciate sleep. I don’t get much of it during the semester, so it is absolute heaven to partake in a week’s worth of sleeping in.
  4. Catch up on schoolwork. I know it doesn’t sound fun to spend your break doing homework, but think of how awesome it will feel when you’ve got all your most annoying work out of the way while you watch your friends scrambling and cracking under the pressure to get it done on time. Tough luck, guys!
  5. Netflix for life. Finally check out that TV series you’ve been wanting to get into, or have a movie marathon. You probably do that anyway when you’re not on break, but at least you can do it guilt-free now!
  6. Invite your family up. Usually, it’s you going home whenever you have a break, but why not invite your family to stay awhile and see the area? Show them around campus and take them to your favorite local restaurants.
  7. Enjoy me-time. It’s hard to get a second to breathe during the semester between classes full of people, hallways full of people, roommates, sports, etc. During break, the campus clears out, and you can finally have a moment to yourself.
  8. On the flip side, party with friends. Find some friends who aren’t leaving either and figure out some fun stuff to do together. Go to the movies, have a party, binge eat junk food while watching Netflix – the possibilities are endless.
  9. Do that thing you keep saying you’re going to do. You know exactly what I’m talking about: the dentist appointment you’ve been meaning to make, the laundry piled up on your floor, the kitchen that needs organizing, the new clothes you need to buy, the call to your grandma you should really make – whatever that “thing” is, you’ve finally got the time to do it.
  10. Prepare for the second half of the semester. By now, you know what you’ve got left ahead of you. Start prepping for finals, clean that mess of a dorm room, stock up on essentials, grocery shop, and get yourself ready to buckle down and power through the remainder of the semester.

See? It’s not so bad. I know getting away sounds nice, but you can metaphorically get away without having to fly thousands of miles away. Whatever you’re doing for break, don’t stress. Give your brain a chance to recover, get some sleep, and you’ll be ready to tackle anything.

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