Tag Archives: Spring Break

Spring Break: Is Florida Really the Best Place?

Every year, spring break rolls around, and every year, the most popular thing to do is go to Florida for the week. And what’s not to love about sun, sand, and surf? But is it really all that it is cracked up to be?

One of the problems with going to Florida for spring break is that everyone goes there. It becomes an extremely crowded place where you have to fight for every step you take. It seems a little ridiculous to have to deal with massive overcrowding when you’re trying to relax. Then there is the drive to Florida. Obviously, it differs depending on where you are, but here in Virginia, it is roughly a 10 to 12-hour drive just to get to Florida, and the time increases the further south you go into the state. Now some people like road trips, and some people don’t, but I cannot imagine anyone enjoying being in a crowded car on crowded highways for 10 to 12 hours.

beach week
“One of the problems with going to Florida for spring break is that everyone goes there. It becomes an extremely crowded place where you have to fight for every step you take.” Photo from: https://www.washingtonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/bethany-beach-delaware_featured-994×559.jpg

I am not trying to say that Florida and going to the beach cannot be fun. Being able to relax on sunny shores and swimming and playing in the ocean is a great way to spend your time. There are also great places to eat down in Florida and, of course, plenty of fresh seafood. There’s a reason why Florida is such a popular place to go, and this is a well-earned title. However, I do not think it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

Probably sooner rather than later, people tend to run out of things to do. There’s only so much beach sitting and ocean swimming you can do. And I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason everyone goes to Florida is because that’s just the thing to do. Everyone else is going to the beach, so why shouldn’t you? But, then again, not everyone enjoys the same things and if people have fun going to Florida and the beach, then why not? It’s spring break; do whatever you’ll enjoy doing.

Things To Do If You’re Doing Nothing For Spring Break

The movies would have us believe that spring break is the pinnacle of all college students’ lives. They say you’re doing something wrong if you and a dozen friends with seemingly endless amounts of money don’t flock to the beaches of Mexico or California to have a non-stop party for a week. But some students have a calmer break planned and are either going home or staying where they are or at a friend’s. Their reason could be because they want to save money or simply because they prefer to spend their break that way. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’re opting for a break without a movie destination, here’s some ideas of stuff to do.

Learn a New Skill

Pick up that guitar you haven’t touched since you were 14 and see what you remember. Learn how to ride a unicycle or solve a Rubik’s cube. Teach your dog how to roll over. Cook something you’ve never cooked before with your siblings. If it’s a success, you can make it for your roommates when you get back.

Read a Book

beach
“The movies would have us believe that spring break is the pinnacle of all college students’ lives.” Photo from: https://0.s3.envato.com/files/146274820/48_29_15_Group_Young_People_dance_beach_sunset.jpg

Reading is awesome and there are so many good books out there. On break, you don’t have the excuse of having homework or class to be too busy to read. So go by the library (or find out where it is if you’ve never been there), pick out a book that interests you, and actually finish it.

Visit Your Grandparents

They would love to see you. Even if it’s just for a little while, swing by for a visit. Ask them to tell you about how they met, what their first jobs were or what school was like for them, and in return, they’ll probably let you whine to them about what it’s like for your generation.

Look for Jobs

Again, you don’t have the excuse of being too busy with classes to look for a job, whether it be for after graduation or for the summer. You can get an idea of what the job market will be like after you graduate, or you can get a head start on learning who’s hiring over the summer.

What you have to know about the Zika virus

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a notice to take special precautions when making a trip to various warm areas where a mosquito-borne virus, called Zika virus, is spreading rapidly.

Aedes aegypti mosquitos, one of two species of mosquito known to carry the Zika virus. Photograph from Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.
Aedes aegypti mosquitos, one of two species of mosquito known to carry the Zika virus. Photograph from Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images.

The CDC has been encouraging all visitors to areas of Latin America and the Caribbean to take additional precautions against mosquito bites to abstain from contracting the virus. Authorities increased the warning to a Level 2 travel notice and are currently prompting pregnant women and women attempting to become pregnant to consider staying away from the affected regions out of concern that Zika might bring about a catastrophic birth defect called microcephaly, a birth defect that results in a smaller-than-ordinary head and brain, as well as other formative issues.

In case you’re setting out for Spring Break in South America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Puerto Rico, this is what you have to know before taking off:

  1. Zika is a virus spread by one particular kind of mosquito via bite. Not all mosquitoes in affected areas spread Zika — however the ones that do bite aggressively during the day.
  1. Since the Zika virus only stays in the bloodstream for a couple days to a week, according to Cynthia Moore, M.D., director of the CDC’s division of birth defects and developmental disabilities, it won’t infect the infant you later in your life, when the virus will be completely out of your system. 
  2. In the event that you contract the virus, you might develop an itch. Around 1 in 5 infected individuals will become sick with mild symptoms ranging from red eyes (most common), rash, and fever — to vomiting and aches in the head, muscles, joints, head, and behind the eyes within seven days. The symptoms can last up to a week. No deaths have been reported so far. 
  3. To prevent infection in affected regions, you’ll need to cover exposed skin; use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535; double check that your hotel room is screened in or air-conditioned. You can even wear clothing that contains permethrin, a synthetic insecticide. These products have been tested by the EPA and determined to be effective at repelling bugs, and are safe for children and women who are pregnant or nursing. 
  4. Pay attention to travel alerts and stay away from areas where there are outbreaks. If there is no alert, still take these precautions. If you contract Zika, the only thing you can do is treat the symptoms with rest, extra fluids, and medicine that contains acetaminophen, like Tylenol. Then keep warding off mosquitoes with repellent, long sleeves and pants. 
  5. You are more likely to encounter Culex mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile virus, outdoors and at night. Be that as it may, you are at higher risk of bites from the Aedes mosquitoes, which can spread dengue, chikungunya and Zika, inside. That is because Aedes are more active and feed during the day.

The uplifting news is, while it’s not proven completely, researchers believe once an individual has been infected with the virus, they are immune and won’t be able to become infected again, as indicated by Higgs.

Spring Break: Steaming, freezing or in-between?

It seems as if every student at Radford University was born and raised in the same areas. Every time someone asks “where’s your hometown?,” the answer seems to be one of three places: NoVa, Virginia Beach or Richmond. With spring break around the corner, many Highlanders seem to be leaving behind the familiar as they plan their trips. Continue reading Spring Break: Steaming, freezing or in-between?

A break with meaning

Most students leave campus and travel back to their hometown or go on vacation during breaks. But for those who are tired of going home or just want to experience something different during a break, Radford University’s Center for Community Engagement is hosting a variety of alternative service break options.

Last year they hosted their first trip over spring break to Lockhart, S.C., a town that had been hit hard by the economic recession. During their trip, the students painted the old town hall, a bridge and a lighthouse. This year they plan to expand the alternative service break program by offering multiple trips to different destinations throughout the year.

Students in Lockhart, S.C. repairing siding of a house. Photo by Creative Commons.

They plan on hosting trips during part of Thanksgiving break, spring break and some weekend trips as well. The destinations of these trips are not definite, but possible destinations include Florida, Louisiana, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. Some possible international destinations include countries like Haiti and Costa Rica. These trips will focus on a variety of issues affecting society today. Some trips are focused on the affects of hunger and homelessness while others focus on issues such as mountaintop removal.

The lengths of the different trips depend on the destination. Some trips will take place during the weekend for two to three days while others plan to be during the breaks and will last for about a week.

Cost of the trips vary depending on the destination and the amount of time the trip lasts. Prices range from around $100 to $400 for trips in the United States and upwards of several thousand dollars for international trips.

Students in Lockhart, S.C. painting siding of a house. Photo by Creative Commons.

Alexia Springer, a senior and alternative service break coordinator, said she is “looking for leaders, looking for participants and looking for students to be involved in the program.”

In order to make these trips possible, The Center for Community Engagement is looking for students to participate as trip leaders. Trip leaders are responsible for finding trip destinations, organizing the logistics of the trip, fund-raising if needed, and getting students interested in attending the trip. At least 10 students need to participate in each trip but no more than 25 students can.

“It is service work, but it is more than that; you are learning,” Springer said. “Being immersed in a different experience opens your eyes a lot.”

On Oct. 3 and 6, the Center for Community Engagement held interest meetings for those who were interested in learning more about the program. For more information, visit the CCE office in Walker Hall, room 131 or visit their website to learn more and apply to become a alternative service trip leader and propose a new trip. Information about last year’s trip to Lockhart, S.C., is detailed on the website as well as more information on the alternative service break program. Their website also features a link for a YouTube video that describes and shows pictures of the trip.