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What Does Spring Break Look Like for CSU Professors?

Photo credit: Caleb Carpenter

As the snow begins to melt at Colorado State University, student chatter turns from the stress of school to spring break plans. Plane tickets are purchased, beach bodies are toned and plans are made. It is hard to imagine what these plans do not include: rowdy scenes of alcohol-induced euphoria on the sunny, sandy beaches.

In simple terms, spring break for students means having a good time. “Spring break is a kind of ritual for the youth,” Usama Alshaibi said, a film studies professor at CSU. “It’s a time to let go and push the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior. I think it’s a time for many to be free and to leave your comfort zone.”

With all the saturation spring break accounts for in the media, it is easy to forget there is another large majority of campus that has wildly different spring break plans. Although professors may be less exciting and nothing you would make a raunchy movie about, they still have their own interesting spring break plans as well.

“I would hope it’s a much-needed break from the spring semester,” Mark Saunders said, a communication studies professor.

Alshaibi plans on catching up on work and spending quality time with his wife and daughter. Normally, he would stay home and watch “too many movies,” but as his daughter is now six years old, the family can travel and explore more. With this in mind, the family is hitting the road, having planned a road trip.

Also planning on spending time with his family is Saunders. With his kids out of school as well, he has planned a “staycation.” A visit to Denver, the mountains or even Boulder are all possibilities. “We do daily outings to places in Colorado,” he said. The staycation will not stray too far outside of northern Colorado, as Saunders makes sure to get back home every night.

Exciting things are happening for English professor Laura Thomas, who is moving out of her home of 25 years. To break up the stresses of the move, Thomas plans on catching some live music, seeing Glen Hansard at the Boulder Theater,” she said. “It will be a “nice mid-week break amidst the unpacking and moving in.”

Although their plans may seem tame compared to the average college student, Alshaibi, Saunders and Thomas took full advantage of the break when they were in school.

Alshaibi remembers a “crazy” road trip he and his friends took on spring break, partying on their journey to explore the country. Saunders and his friends would typically make Mardi Gras their spring break, usually not having much money left over for the week off from school. However, one year they were able to afford a trip to Daytona Beach, Florida. Saunders remembers it being a great time, but, “not like how MTV Spring Break was portraying it.” Also usually low on money, Thomas says she “caught up on sleep, laundry, and school work at home.”

In contrast to what Instagram or Twitter may tell you, this is how most college students will probably be spending their break.

No matter what spring break plans you may have, it is wise to make the best use of the break from the stress school it offers.

“The first half of spring semester is always tough because it’s dark and cold, but this year has been particularly anxiety-provoking for many of us,” Thomas said. I hope that we all take some time to rest and reconnect, so we can return to the second half with renewed vigor.”

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