The term “spring break” conjures up images from MTV of bikini-clad co-eds partying at swim-up bars and sunny beaches, but this isn’t necessarily the case for everyone. So you didn’t have the funds for the all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, or the means/willpower to drive 20 hours to Florida crammed in a tiny car with six of your friends? That doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire week Facebook stalking tropical pictures (and of course judging who looks the best in a bathing suit) while crying into the wool sweater you’re wearing to fight the still-bitter cold of March. Here’s a guide to different options for a homebound spring break.
I’ll start of the list with the least appealing: get ahead on your homework. I know this is the last thing you want to do with your week off but hear me out. Once that 20-page paper is done, that dull-as-rocks 17th-century English lit book is read, and you’ve made flashcards for your upcoming biology exam, you’ll have a bunch of free time during the rest of the semester. This could mean getting actual sleep for once, or just jumping into a Wine Wednesday regret-free. Even though you’ll hate every minute of doing the work now, you’ll be thankful when you’re already totally prepared for your eight a.m. philosophy discussion the morning after a mid-week rager.
Do a detox. I don’t even mean going crazy and embarking on a crazy juice cleanse that you know you’ll quit after day one. Just get your body back on track. If you’re like 90% of college kids you’ve spent the past couple months since winter break binge drinking and poisoning your body at least twice a week, only sleeping a maximum of four hours a night, and experiencing debilitating stress on a regular basis. Take this week to relax. Sleep in every single day, remember what it feels like to not be hung over, and take a break from worrying about what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.
Forget the detox and drink heavily. Why not? Pick up a box of wine on the way home, or a cheap handle of your favorite variety of liquor. You don’t have any responsibilities to attend to so just go for and have fun. There’s bound to be someone in town to go with you on a bar crawl of all the local hotspots. Local bars usually have some decently cheap happy hours and if you’re home you won’t even need to spend money on meals for the week.
Get extremely involved in a cancelled television series that has all its seasons on Netflix. The great thing about this is that even if you don’t have a Netflix account already, you can get one free for a week, which is exactly how long spring break typically is. You can become fully immersed in this show and be able to find a sense of closure at the end. There will be no waiting for new episodes, which means no time commitments when you get back to the real world of school. Of course you’ll always lament that the amazing cast of Freaks and Geeks couldn’t stay together for a second season, and that Better Off Ted wasn’t able to give us a look into more wrongdoings of Veridian Dynamics, but you can take solace in knowing that when school lets out you’ll be able to dive into the long awaited fourth season of Arrested Development.
Read a book… for fun! At this point, libraries for you have probably become just places in which to gossip with friends, complain about homework, or once in a while, actually study a little. It can be mind-bending to remember that joy can be found there. If you can’t go on a real vacation, you can at least fall into one by becoming absorbed in the world of a book. Toss aside the novels for your English class that you’ve only been skimming anyway and pick up anything that appeals to you. Even trashy romance novels will work as long as you leave them feeling like you’ve been in another place and time for a while.
Hang out with your parents. It may not be everyone’s first option but there’s a lot of value in giving this a try. “Hanging out” doesn’t mean just being in the same house as them, or nodding your head while checking your twitter. Actually engage in a conversation with them. Suggest a place to go for dinner (free food!) or a movie that you both might like. You’ll be amazed how much your relationship has changed since you moved out of the house and realized that they are actual people too, not just Mom and Dad. Plus, they’ll really appreciate the effort and be more likely to send you back to school with that new spring jacket you’ve been lusting over.
Learn how to cook something besides macaroni and cheese. As sad as it may be, it’s coming time that you’ll have to learn to cook food of actual substance. The days of living on ramen noodles and microwaveable easy-mac will have to end sometime. Eventually you’ll start needing to watch your calorie intake and be expected to make meals when hosting guests and trying to impress dates. Being home with Mom is the perfect time to learn how to make the one signature dish that you can make to prove that you’re an adult that knows how to work the oven.
If all else fails and you are still feeling unfulfilled with your hometown spring break: pretend you went somewhere. Buy a week-long session of tanning and banish the wintery white from your skin tone. Facebook some pictures that no one has ever seen of you in a bathing suit from a family vacation, tweet random Google image searches of beaches, and Instagram a shot of an iced-over fruity drink. When you get back to school regale your peers with the stories about the rich lover you’ve been keeping secret and describe the trip he took you on to the Bahamas. As long as you wear the conch-shell bracelet you ordered from Amazon over the weekend, no one will ask questions.