No plans? No problem: Ideas for your spring break

If going home isn't an option, there are plenty of ways to make your spring break exciting

Saakshi Gupta Feb 28, 2011

There are just a couple of days left until spring break, and excitement about going home is building up. In dorm rooms around campus, students have their travel bags out again, while back at home parents are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their college-aged children and figuring out how to spend as much time with them as possible during the ten days of break. However, for many people, spring break doesn’t entail being able to go home. Whether you have some obligation keeping you on campus, you’re an international student, or you just didn’t get a flight back — the point is, you don’t have any spring break plans. There’s no need to mope around or be down in the dumps and glare at anyone who mentions the word “break” — here is a list of options to choose from if you aren’t returning home.

Make travel plans with your buddies

If you know a couple of people who are in the same boat as you are, then get together and plan a week-long holiday to a warm, sunny place. Go hip and chic while shopping in Los Angeles, take a cruise to the Bahamas, or just party it up in Mexico — the possibilities are unlimited. Adhip Sacheti, a sophomore majoring in economics, plans to go to Cancun with a few of his friends. He insisted, “Cancun is the place to be simply because it has all you can ask for from spring break: beaches and good weather, plus we’re legal there.” Eshan Chordia, a sophomore electrical and computer engineering major, added, “A vacation is a great way to bond with friends. The fun factor is enormous too.”

Visit a friend

Always wanted to catch up with your old friend from high school but never had the time? Maybe you both could meet up and talk about each other’s lives. Make a few calls and decide on a place to meet, or visit your friend’s campus instead.

Ride solo

Just want to get away and be by yourself? Maybe this is the perfect time. Get into Orlando Bloom’s shoes and roar off toward your Elizabethtown. Rent a car or a bike (for those who are extra adventurous), make a personalized CD for the stereo, draw out a map, and go on a road trip. If driving isn’t an option, then utilize the public transport system (check out Megabus for great deals) and head out on your own adventure. Keep an account of your journey by carrying a journal with you, and update it every night before sleeping. It’s an amazing way to do some soul searching or to just meet a bunch of new people.

Community service in Pittsburgh

Working on a community service project is a great way to learn more about the community of Pittsburgh. Projects typically include a variety of service opportunities during the day as well as communal dinners, discussions with a range of topics, and activities all focused toward building a better community. This will also be a great way to visit many different locations in Pittsburgh, get to know people in and about Pittsburgh, and become familiar with local service projects that one can continue working on throughout the semester.

Explore vibrant Pittsburgh

Spring break is a wonderful time to truly experience what Pittsburgh has to offer. Here are a couple of things that top Pittsburgh’s to-do list:

Go try out Pittsburgh’s local restaurants which have been around for ages. Some top choices would be breakfast at Pamela’s and some Pittsburgh-style lunch at Primanti’s.

So what if Pittsburgh doesn’t have a Six Flags? It has a Kennywood! As a National Historic Landmark, this amusement park gives its rides an old-world charm and leaves its visitors screaming for more.

If you’re the artsy type, then go to one of Pittsburgh’s many museums, most of which are free for students. Don’t forget to visit the Cathedral of Learning for its great architecture and view!

View the marvelous Pittsburgh skyline while traveling in a wooden cable car on the Duquesne and Monongahela inclines.

Spend an evening at Southside — go shopping, take pictures of the trendy bars, eat food at the Cheesecake Factory, and watch a local band perform to top it all.

If none of the above are appealing to you and you had hoped for something more exciting, then you can still plan ahead for next year. Anisha Vyas, a sophomore mechanical and biomedical engineering major, is extremely excited to spend her spring break working with Carnegie Mellon Panama Business Brigades, which helps underdeveloped communities achieve their economic goals. Vyas said, “It’s a great way to apply all the skills one has learned at CMU to help other people in the world.” And for all those who just wanted to go home, she adds, “I went home my freshman year, but it can get boring too, which is why this time I chose to utilize my time in a more efficient way.” Regardless of what your plans are this year for spring break, the key to having a great break is to just put down the study books, relax for a while, and enjoy these ten stress-free days.