spring break
Seniors probably won't see their parents nearly as much after graduation, so spending spring break with them might pay off (Image via US News & World Report)
College /// Thoughts x
spring break
Seniors probably won't see their parents nearly as much after graduation, so spending spring break with them might pay off (Image via US News & World Report)

Partying with friends sounds ideal, but you might want to spend time with your family before your adult life begins.

Traditionally, the idea of spring break sparks images of foreign countries, beaches and traveling with a big group of friends. In high school, students generally spend the break with their family, going on vacation or relaxing at home.

Once they enter college, however, spring break becomes the trip of a lifetime when newly acquired friends suggest going on spring break with each other. While traveling can be fun, seniors, you should seriously consider going home for spring break.

Now, the suggestion may cause people to pause because when they think about their final spring break as a student, they picture going out for one last hoorah before college graduation approaches.

While I’m saying that seniors should think about staying home, I’m not saying that they can’t choose to go with friends. In the long run, as a senior, you need to recognize all the factors of the circumstance.

Being the last year of college and potentially school in general, you have no guarantee that you’re going to end up in an area close to home. As a senior myself, I’m looking for jobs in multiple different areas to broaden my options.

In the end, you don’t know where you’re going to live after you graduate. Ultimately, you could end up on the other side of the world doing a fellowship or working a job a few states over from where your family lives.

No matter where you find yourself after you graduate, family time is something that declines once you enter college. Depending on the university you go to, access to your family can be difficult, especially for those going out of state or for those that don’t have a car.

While students have communication through their phones, it’s not the same as seeing someone and being able to hug them.

In a year, roughly seven or eight months are spent at the established institute, including all breaks. So, that leaves four or five months at home with family, not counting if you go on trips. For anyone moving from an environment in which you see your family every day to one where the next time you see them is months away is hard.

After the initial move, family dynamics shift when seniors in high school become freshmen in college. On both ends, people have to get used to their new surroundings. At home, the parents have to become accustomed without one of their kids around.

While at college, the freshman has to live with a stranger in an unfamiliar environment and learn how to create new bonds. Over the course of four years, it gets easier, but when the final year hits, you have to start preparing for the real world.    

Once preparation for life after college sets in, the main priority while completing your last semester is to secure a job. In retrospect, this means that spring break is the last vacation period students have for a while. The question is, how do you spend that last break?

While traveling out of the country with friends and drinking like there’s no end is the ultimate spring break goal, seeing your family won’t be as easy after starting your job. When planning your activities, there are many factors that you have to consider during your last year.

In the grand scheme of things, the best time to go abroad with friends for spring break is either sophomore or junior year, or both!

Your sophomore and junior year spring breaks are great to spend with friends, but senior year is a bit different. (Image via New York Post)

Unfortunately, freshman year is too early to make concrete bonds in which people feel comfortable traveling together. After all, students are still getting comfortable in their new environment. On the other hand, the second and third years of college are when bonds are solidified, which makes those the prime years to spend spring break with close friends.

For this reason, these are the years to spend in Mexico, California or Florida and relax under the beating sun with a Piña Colada in hand. Rather than continuing this mentality into your last year, think about how often you will see your family after you receive your diploma.   

As stated before, the dynamics of families change when a child goes off to college, and another major shifting point is when college is over and now the “real world” becomes reality. While in the early years of college, students know they’re going back home for the summer to await next year, but senior year is different.

At that point, students have no assurance that they will go back home, and they have no set period of time to come back. As a result, spring break provides an impeccable opportunity to see your family before your life completely changes.

Additionally, a popular choice that graduating students make is to stay in the town of their college if there is a nice downtown area and if they already have a job lined up. Ultimately, staying put in a college town gives people a better chance of sticking close with friends because a lot of people decide to do the same thing.

As a result, students who settle in their college towns indefinitely are likely far away from home, and the chance to visit their family during breaks will diminish when they’re in the working world. So, if seniors in this situation decide to spend their final spring break with their parents, they won’t regret it. 

Simultaneously, people feel the need to continue their independent lifestyles, which means they will more likely want to move somewhere away from their parents. From the beginning, a sense of independence is created when teenagers go to college, so they’re hesitant to go back home after graduation because they don’t want to lose their freedom.

With that mindset, the chance that people won’t live near home after senior year is higher. Consider, therefore, that you’ll likely never know when you’ll see your family next, and spring break will be a great opportunity to find any closure you may need.

Although people could say similar things about why you should go on spring break with friends for the “last time out,” the bonds between family and friends are different. Realistically, bonds with family are stronger than those created in college, and so reinforcing them is important, especially since there is a high chance that people will end up close to friends once reality sets in.

In that case, the last spring break, which is the last break you’re going to have for some time, should be spent with family before you’re in a position of uncertainty.  

Writer Profile

Erin Marie Winans

James Madison University
English / Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

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