Spring break is coming up, and it seems like everyone already has plans. Your roommate plans on heading down to South Padre Island to catch some rays, the girl in your science class keeps talking about her upcoming trip to Cancun. Even your kid brother has spring break plans to travel with the pep band to Florida.

This time of year, it can feel like there’s a lot pressure to have an extravagant tropical vacation getaway for spring break. While a trip can be really fun, sometimes it’s just not in the budget. Don’t worry! There’s plenty of other ways to spend spring break. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

What do I need?

The key to choosing the best spring break for you, is to first think about what you need. Are you totally exhausted from being around people and in class 24/7? Are you tired of studying, and need some time to have fun with friends? Depending on how you’ve been feeling lately, you might want to choose some low-key time with family over a road trip with friends.

This spring break, I plan on getting some much-needed girl time by taking a roommate road trip to Rapid City, SD. After spending my semester working and doing homework all the time, I am ready to hit the road and leave responsibilities behind! For only about $150/person, we are going to road trip to a cute little Airbnb in the Black Hills to spend a few days bonding and visiting national parks and monuments. It’s a great option because Rapid City is only a ten-hour drive and all of the tourist locations are completely empty this time of year. I went last year as well and we had Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park almost entirely to ourselves.

However, a week-long road trip might not be the spring break experience to meet your needs. Instead of road tripping with the rest of us, one of my roommates has decided that going home and spending time with her family is the best way for her to relax and recharge. She values quality time with her family and is going to have a great week spending time with the people she loves the most. After spring break, she will be completely ready to jump headlong back into her last semester at WSU.

What will make me feel most fulfilled?

The second thing you should ask yourself, is whether you would leave spring break feeling more fulfilled by “me-time” or by using your week to serve others. There are lots of great opportunities to use your spring break to help other people such as mission trips or service trips. My freshman year, I went to Florida over spring break to practice beach ministry. I ended up talking to a lot of people from all over the United States and even some students from Sweden!

There a lot of opportunities on campus to go on mission and service trips. For example, the Women’s Studies Director, Tamara Berg, will be leading a Hurricane Relief trip to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The trip is open to all and will help clean up and rebuild after the destruction of Hurricane Maria.

Campus ministries are a great place to look for spring break opportunities as well. The Catholic Newman Center often offers spring break trips. One of my friends is going on a spring break mission with the Newman Center to the Czech Republic where she plans to spend her time serving the poor, both physically and spiritually. Even if you don’t think a trip is in the cards for this year, keep your ears and mind open for next spring break! They are a great way to see the world as well as serve the world.

Am I looking for an adventure?

And if it’s adventure you’re looking for, The WSU Outdoor Education and Recreation Center is offering two spring break trips this year. One to Moab, Utah (mmmm, warm weather!), where you’ll have the opportunity to hike, climb, and canyoneer. The other trip is to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas for sport climbing. Both trips are reasonably priced, in my opinion.

No matter what you’re looking for in a spring break experience, you have plenty of options, both on and off campus. Take some time to think about what you really need to finish the semester strong. Your grades and your sleepless body will thank you, and you’ll have a rockin’ spring break.

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Emma Cavanaugh

Emma is majoring in English Writing, and minoring in Theatre, as well as English Literature and Language. Though she hails from Lake City, MN, the birthplace of waterskiing, Emma has actually never been waterskiing. She's always excited to try new things though and is interested health and wellness topics. Emma is also the Sports Editor for the Winonan, another student publication.

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