Tip #5: Friends and Family Make Spring Break, Not Alcohol and Parties

Welcome back (for those of you who have had spring break already)!! and hope you are enjoying yourself somewhere warm (for those of you who are on break now)!!

Transitioning from no obligations, except to sit at the beach all Image result for spring break movieday, to having to go to 3-4 classes a day can be very difficult. I came back from hot, sunny Miami last Wednesday to snow in DC. Safe to say I’m not thrilled to be back either, BUT I had an amazing break  regardless of the weather, and that was all due to my friends and family.

When a college student says they went to Miami for spring break, the responses they get from older adults is usually a scoff or look of disapproval; at least that was the responses I received when adults asked where I went for spring break. I mean, I don’t blame them. When people think of spring break in Miami they usually imagine half naked students partying on the beach with lots of alcohol. They’re not wrong to think that. It’s a popular way for college students to spend spring break. Do you remember the movie Spring Breakers with Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens? If you have no idea what I am talking about then ignore what I’m saying. It’s a horrible movie that resembles the wild spring break rite of passage stereotype put on people our age. That is probably what you would find if you went to South Beach in Miami, but this is in no way what my vacation looked like. Instead, I went to a little town right outside Miami, called Surfside.

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To those of you who went to Cancun, Cabo, or any other warm place where the drinking age is 18+, with an all-inclusive package at a hotel by the beach; this is not me judging you. Your vacation drinking all day, everyday may have been the kind of escape you needed from real life, but for me, I needed time with my friends and family. My spring break consisted of 5 days in Miami with my best friend and 4UYPP8267.jpg days back in D.C. where my parents came to visit me. I had a week of the free time I needed, where I got to change environments and try new things. And let me tell you…my break was a blast

I, unlike most people, didn’t go to Miami for the partying. I went on a on a mellow break to my best friends hometown and stayed with her family. Now, as someone born and raised in New England, I soon found that the weather in Florida is paradise. While my family was getting a snow storm in MA, I was enjoying my time in the sun touring the city of Miami for the first time.

My friend and I enjoyed 5 full days of IMG_9027 (2)packed plans, from when we woke up, showered, ate our meals, and went back to bed. It was the most exhausted I have been in awhile, but it was the exciting adventure I’d been waiting for. We went boating, kayaking, to the Bal Harbor Shops, the Perez Art Museum, a film festival, the beach (NOT South Beach, ours was more private), and ate yummy food. I even got to see the exact apartment that Dexter lives in when he’s not murdering people. I think the most wild thing I did was see a 2 hour long movie all in Spanish, with only English subtitles to understand what was happening. It was a great movie called El Inca, you should check it out: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4581310/

When I went back to DC, although it was freezing, I got to see my parents. We went to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, shopped in Georgetown, toured NPR, ate an amazing steak at Blue Duck Tavern, IMG_9222explored the monuments, and got to catch up with the two people I had been missing most. They met some of my friends for the first time, approved my living conditions, and got me lots of leftovers. There was no parties or illegal activities in my break, and while that may seem boring to those of you living the stereotypical college life, this was personally the happiest I have been in awhile. So the next time your parents want to go on a family vacation, or your friends invite you into their home, think twice before declining the invitation for that all-inclusive in Mexico with your buddies. Sometimes a new environment, the right people around you, and venturing out is the only break we need from our lives.

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Academics and college life can be a huge stressor. It’s important to set aside time for yourself away from your obligations and change your settings. A week with my friends and family recharged me to get through the final stretch of the semester. I met new people, explored new places, tried different foods, and laughed until I turned into a crying tomato.

xx Cat

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