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Spring Break 101

by Yvonne Liu

Blank stares. Achy wrists. Late-night study sessions. Towers of library books in your room. Are you suffering from any of these symptoms? If you answer "yes" or even hesitate to ponder the answer, then 10 out of 10 times you are suffering from student burnout, the winter blahs, and just school in general. Never fear, Dr. iStudentCity has the answer-SPRING BREAK!

By definition, Spring Break is that week thrown in somewhere in-between the beginning of March and ending by April 15th (depending on your school) for students to take a break in their semester or quarter. Hey, you've been studying hard, and now it's time to play hard. While residents of other countries have long considered Americans stifling and not ones to know how to have a good time as compared to people living in let's say Europe, Spring Break is a time young Americans make the rest of us proud. They show the world that Americans do know how to have a good time, albeit not always sober, but who's really keeping tabs?

And just as you would prepare for a major exam or paper, Spring Break is something you don't want to tackle in a spontaneous moment. There are plenty of things to consider, including: where can you go to get the best tan, where can you get the most bang for your buck, and where are the rest of your friends going?

Spring Break hot spots usually center around places with warm weather. Think bikinis and suntan lotion, bare bods mingling in huge beachfront throngs, guys and gals scoping out the scene from behind their shades and margaritas. So, here are a few popular destinations that college students from all across America rush toward:

Panama City, Florida-bars, babes, alligator burgers, and a chance at spending Spring Break with MTV. Not bad, huh?

Daytona Beach, Florida-an old favorite. You not only get the usual beach to-dos and club hopping at night, but DisneyWorld, SeaWorld, Epcot Center, and other major attractions in Orlando are close by.

Cancun, Mexico-cheap expenses, a chance at being out of the country without being too far away, Cancun also offers Mayan pyramids and jungle tours for the adventurous. For those just looking for a good time, this is party central with great Mexican food (duh!).

South Padre Island, Texas-lots of students and loads of fun, yes this is an actual island off of Texas. Day trips to Mexico are also an option, so you get the best of both worlds.

Clearwater, Florida-361 days of sunshine, what could go wrong? More white, sandy beaches, and two hours away from Orlando, your winter blahs are sure to disappear.

Bahamas-Plenty of fishing, lazy days in the sun, and drinks in tropical paradise (the legal drinking age is only 18). Just take it easy, and it'll be all good.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-for the golf aficionados, Myrtle Beach offers some of the best greens. Hey, by the time your vacation is over, you could be the next Tiger Woods!

But do keep in mind some safety and travel tips while you are off having the time of your life:

  • Always know where your friends are. Travel in numbers.
  • Don't carry too much cash at all times. Traveler's checks and credit cards come in handy, but make sure you don't lose them.
  • Watch your health. Too much sun, alcohol, food, or anything your body isn't used to will cause you to feel sick or overexhausted, guaranteed.
  • If you are overseas, be careful of the food or water you intake. In lesser-developed countries such as Mexico, make sure all food is cooked and all water bottled (or else drink Coke or 7-Up). Traveling with antacids may not be a bad idea.
  • Be well-informed of your surroundings. Use common sense and judgment when exploring your immediate area. Research before you go.
  • If you run into the law, be courteous. You don't want to find yourself in jail, be it in the States and especially not in a foreign country.
  • When traveling abroad, make photocopies of your visa and passport. Show those unless the originals are requested. Always know where your nearest U.S. embassy is located.

Above all else, remember that any kind of travel involves money. So if you can't afford a big trip to some hot destination, don't worry about it. Just relax and take time out from your otherwise hectic schedule to do things you enjoy but normally don't have the luxury to indulge in during the school year. The point is to take a break, slow down the pace, and refresh yourself.

Sources: RealCollegeLife.com, StudentAdvantage.com,


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