Moonlighting @ HerCampus Tufts

#BooksMyJobGaveMe Podcast, Journalism

SO!

About a week ago, I decided to branch out on campus, and join another literary outlet on campus, with the Tufts branch of the startup, HerCampus. Anyway, here it is! Writing in an expository frame was incredibly exciting!

Spring Break 2012: “Staycation” Ideas

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who says that as a college student, budget-breaking spring breaks are in order every time the weather thaws? A popular alternative for students and adults alike is taking a “staycation,” where you enjoy quality time in your hometown or wherever you are, taking in the sites and relaxing!

This spring break, instead of scraping funds together, keep your bank account (and sanity!) intact and ease into a spring break spent in the presence of yourself.

This popular alternative came into vogue during the late 2000’s recession, as an alternative to expensive family vacations. But the truth is, people have been doing “staycations” since before they were “cool” or economically sound—after half a semester spent buzzing around the Hill, why not take some time to reflect, regroup, and recharge?

Staycations aren’t location-specific—all you need is imagination, drive, and a thirst for adventure! In case you’re lacking on the first necessity, here’s a short list to get you going.

SPRING BREAK 2012 STAYCATION IDEAS!

1. Tackle that “to read” list and empty your Netflix queue!

Do you have a running log of books or articles you’d like to read, or topics you’d like to research? Have you been meaning to pick of “The Collected Poems of Maya Angelou,” or want to figure out what this “Hunger Games” hype is all about? Or maybe finally get around to reading Ellison’s “Invisible Man?” What better time than spring break to treat your mental self to a relaxing, just-for-fun read? So pull out your library card or head to your local bookstore, and paw through their collection—you may find your next favorite tale! While you’re at it, go ahead and watch those documentaries you’ve been meaning to watch. Take an afternoon and knock em’ out!

2. Be a tourist (in your own town!)

We sometimes scoff at tour groups or out-of-towners when they’re peering into the heavens at a skyscraper, or fawning over an outdoor exhibit or farmer’s market. This break, be one of them! Do some research about whatever area you’re in, and hit up the local tourist spots! Learn what’s happening in your local area, and take part. See it through the eyes of an outsider, to gain some perspective, or maybe even newfound interest in your everyday surroundings!
3. Volunteer your time

During spring break is when many high-schoolers prep for standardized tests. Want to give back in a meaningful way? Volunteer your time at a local high school, testing center, or community center to help youngsters prep for their exams! But before you do this, do some research and refresh yourself! It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage with high-school students and help them achieve their goals, not to mention potentially building a mentor-mentee relationship that may last a lifetime.

4. Sample some one-of-a-kind fare

If your taste buds have grown unresponsive to Boloco relations, or the stir-fry at Carmichael just doesn’t taste as good as it used to, do some digging into your local fare, and sample it! In the Midwest? Pick up some St. Louis or Kansas City-style ribs or Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Fruit-filled empanadas in the Southwest or mufalettas in the Bayou. Think local and unique, and your tongue will surely follow!
5. Reflect and journal

Reflect on your semester thus far, a course, your time at Tufts, or coming of age. We often underestimate the power of words and reflection, but they can put into perspective issues or thoughts that at one time seemed insurmountable. Reflect from a place of positivity, and don’t be too critical of yourself! Start (and keep!) a journal, a blog, or jot down how you’re feeling at random moments. You’ll be happy you did, trust me.

6. Get into nature

What better time than springtime to take in the freshness of a new season? Go. Just go! Whether it’s walk in a park, to a museum, through your neighborhood, a trip across town, or across state lines, get out into nature with a vengeance! That includes your backyard or a local park. Make your own fun, lay in the grass, do whatever.
7. Plan for the home stretch

Calling all students! Whether you’re wrapping up your first year, or topping off your last, plan for the weeks ahead! Flip through old notebooks and class notes for interesting topics or notes that can lend themselves to a senior honor’s thesis or senior special project, or read ahead for a challenging class. It’ll make transitioning back into Tufts a smoother experience with a few chapters of work under your belt.

8. What’s your age again? Be a kid!

Break out those coloring books and Crayola, and make an afternoon of your childhood! For less than $5.00, invest in a coloring book, Mad-Lib workbook, and some magic marker and go to town! Bonus points: color outside the lines. Because you can!

9. Conquer that to-do list

Set aside a morning or afternoon, and compile a “master to-do” list. Then, separate items by their time sensitivity, priority, and the type of energy or motivation you will need to conquer each item (from ‘a gentle push’ to ‘a ton of energy!’) Then, when you find yourself possessing any amount of that required momentum, tackle what needs to be done.

10. Purge (in a good way)

Is your life feeling kind of stuffy and unorganized? Your email inbox overflowing with old messages? Take some time to de-clutter your life—from old papers to old emails and bookmarks. Do the same with your closet (donate what you don’t keep!), phonebook, or room, whatever needs to be renewed, go for it.

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