Opinion—Spring Break may be canceled, but the fun isn’t

spring+break

Sam Rush/NW

Faith King

For families, spring break is often defined by a week of vacations, perhaps to national parks or relaxing days on the beaches. Most importantly, it’s a break from work and school. As adults in college, we still anticipate this moment of release from daily life, but this year our perception of spring break has altered to depict more of a nightmare.

When envisioning the epitome of a college spring break, I typically imagine a scene of complete chaos. The appeal of student-ridden beaches, impossibly tiny bikinis, a lack of sunscreen anywhere and an endless supply of alcohol could lure any college kid away from their dorm room. Admittedly, a week filled with regrettable decisions and blurry memories just seem too tempting to ignore—something I believe we can thank the cinema of the early 2000s for. 

Lately, with the stress of midterm exams looming over campus, the thought of not being able to experience this type of spring break has been on my mind. At even a mention of warm weather or tan lines, I become frustrated and annoyed that I will not be able to live out my dream of being a “spring-breaker” this semester. 

Of course, the decision to remove spring break was imperative to control these types of activities and keep the number of COVID-19 cases low on campus. Even with the initial administration of vaccines, it is still not safe enough for students to travel during this time. 

According to an article written by Forbes Magazine, the CDC is advising against spring break travel and gatherings altogether. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the current CDC director, offered insight on this matter last month. Regarding the topic of spring break, she said, “I want to emphasize that now is not a good time to be traveling period, internationally or domestically.” 

Although this may be disappointing for all of us to hear, it is necessary to recognize and respect if we would ever like to experience our own cinematic spring break again in the near future. 

This recognition of safety, however, does not erase the bittersweet feeling of losing these potential moments. I’m sure we could all admit—albeit somewhat ashamedly—that we would do almost anything just to be able to see a “Suns Out, Guns Out” shirt or have sand in unmentionable places. However, just because we cannot physically travel to the beach to experience this in person, does not mean that we can’t plan fun (and safe) activities in the next couple of weeks. 

Although the air may still be cold, the sun is still in the sky for us to enjoy. Exploring the outdoors on cloudless days is a great way to beat the winter blues and also allows the space to remain socially distanced from others. Safely planning group hikes, bike rides and skiing or snowshoeing trips can create unforgettable memories without the sunburn. In fact, if I close my eyes while walking in the snow, I can almost believe that I’m walking in the sand of a warm beach. 

On the other hand, for those who would rather enjoy the true comfort and warmth of the indoors, there are still plenty of options to travel without having to go anywhere at all. Planning a destination-themed movie night or cooking recipes from another country are both amazingly affordable options to explore passions with friends and family. Other possible, and relatively cheap ideas, might include attempting to learn a new language, reading a book set in a far-away destination or taking a virtual tour. 

For example, although it may not be the beach of Florida, many museums around the world—including the Louvre museum in Paris—are offering free virtual tours of their exhibits. Google has created an easily accessible Collections tab on their Arts and Culture platform that is specifically for this purpose. Additionally, partnered with NASA, Google has another unique opportunity to virtually tour the surface of Mars. Imagine traveling to our neighbor planet this spring. Personally, I believe that could be a million times more exciting than an overcrowded and boozy beach. 

Right now, it is important that we do continue to follow all social distancing, masking, hand washing and CDC outlined precautions regarding travel. Although these opportunities may not be exactly what we imagined the spring breaks of our college years to include, they still offer the ability to escape from our daily lives, if only just for a moment. As to when we can return to our sunburns and shenanigans, the future is still unclear. However, at least one thing is certain right now. Spring break may be canceled this year, but the spirit is not.

Editor’s Note: The North Wind is committed to offering a free and open public forum of ideas, publishing a wide range of viewpoints to accurately represent the NMU student body. This is a staff column, written by an employee of the North Wind. As such, it expresses the personal opinions of the individual writer, and does not necessarily reflect the position of the North Wind Editorial Board.