Spring break is best time to explore, leave comfort zone

Hey friends, so as the semester begins to carry on and we leave summer behind (R.I.P.), it’s time to start thinking about what really matters — spring break. I know it may be a bit early — about six months too early — but hear me out. Spring break is only about a week long and most of us are only going to go away for five days or so. To fully take advantage of this time, we need to plan, and I mean plan everything from the moment we walk into the hotel to the second we wobble out a few days later.

So to all my spring break ready people I implore you, do not go to a fraternity party for break. When I say a fraternity party, I am talking about spots like Cancun, Panama City Beach and basically any destination that can act as a backdrop for an episode of “Girls Gone Wild.” Unless what you really want to do is live the “real” college spring break experience and be on the "Girls Gone Wild" end of things (no judgment, of course), by all means, ride into the sunset with your pitchers of tequila and fist pumping. But, know what you are missing out on before you take that chance. To me, spring break should be about a lot more than just frolicking around hotel lobbies looking for the next "rager" on the beach. If you put the same situation back in New Brunswick, you are basically looking at a Friday night.

Spring break is the time you get to relax. Yeah, a party on the beach is probably a great way to do that, but in my eyes, most of us get to do that every weekend. Spring break is our chance to go for something completely new. It is our chance to explore, experience and elevate ourselves to a different mode of life.

Pick a destination that excites you for more than just the super low drinking age and all the different tanning spots that you get to hit. You get to go on a five-day trip with your best friends anywhere you want, don’t make it like a night in New Brunswick. Instead, make it a night under the stars on a secluded beach, a cliff dive into clear blue waters or a hike to a waterfall in the middle of a tropical rainforest. Sounds amazing right? Make it happen.

First off, I am not talking about five-star resorts or exotic and far away spots like Fiji, because as much as we would all like to say that we’re heading off to Bora Bora for the weekend, as college students, the struggle is very real. So here’s how we’re going to do it. You and your friends will pick a spot that you don’t always hear come out of MTV for their spring break party destinations, you’ll research more than how many bars are at your hotel and you’ll be open to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. I am a big fan of being outside your comfort zone — and not that I am totally okay with it all the time — as young kids in our twenties, I think that this is the time we need to jump outside of our comfort zones.

The truth is, we won't get to be this young, this strong and this free for much longer in our lives. Soon we will grow to have jobs, responsibilities and less time to enjoy spontaneous moments. This is your chance. I know this article might have gotten much deeper than what you would expect for something about fraternity parties in the introduction. However, I think that it needed to be said. We all have these preconceived notions of what spring break should be and that there is only one way of experiencing it.

We should rise above the typical and create our own paths. Everyone has their own idea of fun and I am not one to say what a great experience is and what isn’t. What I really am trying to say here is that there are times for you to live the way you are used to and then there are times when you get to have these amazing little mind-blowing moments and experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life. So whoever you are and wherever you will be next March, this winter or even tomorrow — put yourself out there. Because out there is so much more colorful than in here.

Biya Haq is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies with a minor in digital communication, information and media. Her column, "The Scarlet Trotter," runs on alternate Fridays.

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