College kids live for spring break. Skiing in Vermont, surfing in Miami, or hey, jetting off all the way to Germany. I know I did once. Bottom line: Spring break brings a ray of joy for people at New York University. Otherwise, they’re stuck in New York with only dreary weather to keep them company. Fun fact, half the city was snowed in for spring break 2017.
That said, spring break sometimes happens at the worst possible time. Midterms, essays, assignments galore, and some classes work their students to the last second. Take a class in the anthropology department, the professor gives a quiz on the final class before the break. If you’re one of the more unlucky ones, you need to present a project on top of that. You might have a story due for your journalism class right after that. Then, (nope, not over yet) after that, you may need to spend all of spring break worrying about who you’re going to profile for another story that you need to write. Fun, right?
Bobst Library was surprisingly empty on Thursday evening. People were still working at home while packing. One girl told me that she was studying for a quiz while packing for her flight at the same time. My roommate stayed up until 4 a.m. working on a take-home midterm for a computer science course. Truth be told, it didn’t take him that long to finish. He stayed up so late was because he was talking to and joking with his other roommates in the process.
Put simply, spring break falls under the wave of midterms that washes away NYU once every couple of weeks. I remember being stuck in an incredibly disappointing predicament in my freshman year. Spring break came in the middle of March as usual, but my schedule cooked up a horrifying midterm schedule. One midterm for every week of March—five straight weeks of midterms. Worse, that was exactly the time of the dreaded snowstorm that kept me inside my dorm. It felt like God was forcing me to study all month, spring break or no spring break.
Worse still, spring break also means that you come back to school and need to get used to the school environment again, all in the span of a few days. Flashback to last spring, when I flew out to Munich to support my favorite soccer team, FC Bayern Munich. I really enjoyed my trip. But I found myself extremely jetlagged once I got back to New York. Even though I had a couple of days to recover before school started again, it took a while for me to get back on my feet.
One of my friends is going all the way to Hong Kong over break, with a three-hour stopover in my home country of South Korea. The flight to Korea is bad enough, but then a few more hours to Hong Kong? He’ll be half dead by the time he comes back.
Sure, spring break gives students a much-needed break in the middle of the semester. But does it, really? Sometimes all it does is just postpone the workload that the students will inevitably face a week later. It is extremely difficult for students to focus on the words on the page when they are already thinking about the sun in their face and the sand between their toes. Nor is it any easier when they go back at school but their minds are still sipping margaritas in Mexico.
Spring break also sucks for people who don’t have plans. Imagine what it feels like to lie in bed, wondering what to do when your friends leave, while your roommate is busy on the phone talking to his friend about his upcoming trip to Miami. Or think about watching people go off to catch their bus out of the city before heading home with a heavy heart. Spring break can be a very lonely experience for those who do not have plans, especially when they suffer from loneliness on a daily basis.
I know I’ve had my fair share of lonely spring breaks. This year might be one, too.
How will I spend my spring break? Coming off of a brutal week, with little-to-no plans for the rest of the week, I feel the next few days will be hard. I already feel the burden of being alone. Perhaps I’ll catch Captain Marvel, to prepare for Avengers; Endgame. There’s a new documentary about Apollo 11, maybe that could be something to do.
I just want to do something productive every day, and not to stay in my room all day and look at my phone. I’ve already deactivated my Instagram and Facebook, so I don’t have anything to stare at, anyway. It’s a hassle to even think of things to do. I can safely say that I might use my brain a lot more than I did while taking that quiz yesterday. Maybe it’s a wake-up call.
Don’t get me wrong, spring break is a wonderful time for a lot of students. For NYU students, it is a ray of sunshine (literally, considering New York’s gross spring weather) to help them get through the long, hard semester. However, there is a lot of ugliness behind spring break, no matter where you go to or where you look.
All breaks during the semester tend to be short-lived, only a temporary ruse until you snap back to reality.
Want a real break? Wait for the summer, kids.