Mastering the Art of the Staycation
Stuck at home this Spring Break? Here’s what you should do.
By Sophie Hurlock, Xavier University
Spring Break has been called one of the last great rites of passage in American culture.
The word itself brings to mind images of tan, highly intoxicated college kids in swimsuits reeking havoc on some poor beach in Florida. Around this time of year, it seems like just about everybody and their mother has some sort of sort of crazy, 90’s MTV Spring Break type of plan for what they’re going to do to celebrate their week off.
For those of you staying home for Spring Break this year, seeing pictures on social media of your friends, or maybe even just that guy who sat behind you in calculus two semesters ago, having fun at the beach, can bring on a serious case of FOMO. Whether getting black-out drunk on a beach isn’t your scene, you didn’t have money to spend on a week of binge drinking or you decided to stay home for some other reason, having a staycation in your home town shouldn’t feel like a social death sentence.
Here is a list of things you could do in order to get the most out of your Spring Break.
Yes, I know that you’re only young once and Spring Break is supposed to be time for debauchery, but it is your spring break and college is exhausting!
If your school is anything like mine, then the past week (or two weeks for me) has been absolute hell. From midterms and papers, to homework and a college movie festival, for the past two weeks I’ve been running off nothing but caffeine, two hours of sleep and stress. And I know for sure I’m not the only college student who could use a week for just rest.
So use your week off to lounge about the house in your PJs, catch up on some Netflix, eat junk food and sleep all day. You’ll definitely feel more rested and less hungover than your classmates who went away for Spring Break. And at the very least, the more you sleep the less you can check out your friend’s awesome Snapchat story from Panama City.
2. Explore Your Hometown
As much as I like to hate on Cincinnati sometimes, especially around the wintertime, the city is home to some pretty cool neighborhoods, restaurants, bars and shops. All of these places I would not have found without a little bit of exploring, and sometimes a little bit of getting lost.
Use your time at home to do some exploring; it’s the perfect activity to do either solo or with a friend or two. Every city has some hidden gem just waiting to be discovered, even if you’ve lived there your whole life and feel like you’ve seen it all. The more you explore and discover, the less monotonous your break will feel.
3. Spend Time with Your Family (Read: Pets)
I know many of you probably rolled your eyes at that title, and are thinking to yourself that the last thing you’d want to do on your Spring Break is spend time with your family, but spending time with them definitely has its benefits.
For one, going home means not always having to pay for things on your own. I know that when I go home, my parents always take me out to dinner and offer to buy me some groceries before I go back to school, and, as a college student, free food is something that I can’t pass up.
On a more serious note thought, catching up with family is always something that I look forward to, since I don’t get a chance to see them that much during the school year.
Even if you’re not happy to be home for Spring Break, I’m sure your family is happy to see you, so spend sometime with them.
For some of you out there, your family may even be paying for all or part of your college education, so the least you can do is spend a little time with them; I promise it won’t be as painful as you think it will. If you’re still not looking forward to seeing your parents and siblings though, at least you can look forward to seeing your pets after not seeing them for months.
Just because you’re not on a beach somewhere doesn’t mean you can’t also take part in the traditional Spring Break activity of drinking heavily. I’m sure you’re not the only one out of your friend group to stay home for break, but even if you are, maybe try hitting up an old high school friend and go out to the bars.
You and your friends can drink just as much in your hometown as the people who left for Spring Break, so go out and have some fun. If you’re not 21 and don’t have a fake to help you get into bars, find a cool older sibling or parent who would be willing to buy you and your friends alcohol (because everyone has one), and have more fun than the people in bar-hopping in town and in Florida put together. Remember, kids: You don’t need fun to have alcohol.
5. Go on Day Trips
This may break the “staycation” mold, but if you absolutely feel the need to get out of your hometown for just a little bit, then the day trip is your solution. If your town doesn’t have any cool places in it, I’m sure there’s a town an hour away that does.
I know from living in Ohio that there are a lot of cool hiking and nature trails an hour, or sometimes even less, in other parts of the state or in neighboring Kentucky. These provide the perfect getaway for me, and help to ease my wanderlust when I either don’t have the time or the money to plan a better trip.
I’m sure that there are plenty of places around you that would make for a great day trip for either you or you and a few friends to go on.