On a cold December afternoon, one of my roommates walked into my room, gesturing at her phone and a GroupMe titled “BAHAMAS 2022” that included roughly 200 members of our class, and said, “So, are you going or not?” At that moment, sitting at my desk in my Walsh eight-man, I realized I needed to make a decision: What the hell was I going to do for Spring Break?
When a college student makes plans for Spring Break, they consider many factors. Among cost, destination, travel arrangements, vacation packages, the options are endless and overwhelming. But, they all boiled down to two categories for me: go home for the week or travel with your friends.
From the start of the Spring Break decision-making process, I struggled to even consider the options. At the time, staring down what was shoring up to be a rocky finals season, I couldn’t even mentally grasp at Spring Break plans. March seemed too far away, and Spring Break felt insignificant in comparison to the slew of papers, exams, and final projects that I had only begun to tackle. So, like any good procrastinator, I waited until the last possible second to get on the phone with my parents, poll my roommates, and of course, check my bank statement, before getting serious about planning for Spring Break.
After one less-than-desirable glance at my Bank of America balance, I came to the bitter realization that my options for Spring Break were, to put it nicely, coming up against some serious financial restrictions. Although I could, in theory, pay for the Spring Break trip, I didn’t feel as though I could afford it. I found myself asking questions like “If I go on this trip, will I be stressed about money for the rest of the semester?” and “Should I be saving this money for travel while I’m abroad?” Although I quickly realized that I would never feel good about spending a significant portion of my savings on a Spring Break trip, I still wasn’t convinced that I should forgo the trip altogether.
With that sentiment, I decided to take a serious look at the mental and emotional pros and cons of the infamous college spring break experience. As someone who prides herself on living every day in hopes of truly getting the most out of the “Boston College experience,” I’ve come to realize that there isn’t exactly time for R&R during the semester. Between classes, extracurriculars, sports games, and friends, being overtired and overcommitted has become the norm. With that, the urge to go home, sit on my couch, get a full eight hours of sleep, and do absolutely nothing began to look almost as appealing as the beach and a beverage.
But, in the back of my mind, intrusive thoughts still lurked: “If I choose not to go, what will I be missing out on?” and “Is my anticipated FOMO powerful enough to outweigh my very real financial and emotional stressors?” Feeling confident that my future self would thank me for prioritizing my personal greater good over a few days in the Bahamas, I finally decided that it was in my best interest to save some money, get some sleep, and head home for Spring Break.
As March 5 approached, however, I began to realize that I had severely overestimated my ability to avoid FOMO. As my roommates began to shop, make nail appointments, and discuss party packages, I went from looking forward to my time at home to wishing I was going to the Bahamas. But, even in this very dark, FOMO-intense moment, I still felt like a few days at home would do wonders for my under-eye bags and my academic motivation.
Fast forward 10 days and Spring Break has already come and gone. So, now that I have had the opportunity to reflect on my Spring Break experience, I have come to a few important conclusions. To start, there are no bad Spring Break plans. My friends that went to the Bahamas claim that they could feel their bodies deteriorating on the beach while I have never felt better. And, what I’m lacking in a sick tan, I’ve compensated for in naps. So, is there really a perfect Spring Break plan? I would argue no. Plus, if you make a decision that feels good to you, who really cares? Although the financial stress coupled with my urge to sleep forever deterred me from Spring Break antics this year, come Spring Break 2024, you will find me, financially prepared and ready to party, on a beach somewhere.
Featured Graphic by Liz Schwab/ Heights Editor