Students stomp vacation stereotypes

College isn’t all about beach trips; make the most with new experiences, time at home



Ana Maria Rodriguez-Vivaldi, associate dean of Student Affairs and Global Education, speaks about how going abroad can lead students to move forward in the fields they are interested in on Tuesday at Thompson Hall. “It’s just rewarding to see them and witness that process” Rodriguez-Vivaldi says.

CARSON HOLLAND, Evergreen columnist

As WSU students prepare to leave our wintry campus for spring break, some are getting excited to visit tropical locales. Others are envious of their peers and the seemingly perfect stereotype of the vacation they are about to embark on.

“When I think of the stereotypical college spring break, I think of going down to Cabo and having a beach party,” said Todd Stephan, a freshman finance major at WSU.

I had the same thought as Todd growing up. If I learned anything from watching TV as a kid, it was that my college spring break would be a wild ride filled with partying. Yet, as the weeks of March are passing by, I’ve only had midterms and projects fall into my lap — not a plane ticket to a spring break beach.

Rather than going to a tropical destination for spring break, I’ve found that my homework load keeps piling up. I am replacing partying and late nights with homework and my job, both of which will take up most of my day.

While some will make their way down to the various party cities of the world, other WSU students are finding ways to break the spring break stereotype.

“I have been in college long enough, going home is just fine,” said Maribel Carmona, a junior studying human development.

A large portion of students are going home for break. Hopefully, it will be relaxing and refreshing, as second semester is just over halfway complete. It would be good for us all if we could recharge our battery to finish the year strong.

A few others are taking the stereotype of the typical college break and flipping it on its head. These students have chosen to study abroad through various programs.

“I am going abroad to London, for a criminal justice program with the school,” said Kaitlin Saythong, a senior criminology major.

Another program, working with Hearts in Motion, is sending students down to Guatemala on a faculty-led trip.

“There are several things that students do … shadowing surgical experience … whatever they are asked to do, they do” said Ana Maria Rodriguez-Vivaldi, the associate dean of student affairs and global education.

Spring break can be the perfect time to gain real-world experience in your chosen profession or to try something new.

“Life-shaping is the word I would use,” Rodriguez-Vivaldi said. “It is life-changing, but shaping because it may reframe what students want to do for their lives.”

There is plenty more that students are doing during their time off. Regardless of if you are going abroad, staying in Pullman, or even going down to Cabo, spring break is a nice week to have off from school.

Make the most of your time off and try something new, even if that is in Pullman or your hometown.