Featured Image

Smart Ways to Spend Your Spring Break

Here are a few smart ideas for how to spend that coveted spring break week. So you can say you did something besides growing a week older...

Spring break comes faster than we realize, and when it does, most college students either head to the beach for a trip their parents will never know the details of, or they go home to spend a week binge-watching Netflix. Now I love binge-watching and relaxing on the beach just as much as the next person, but there are so many other things college students can do for spring break! 

Why do something new and unique for your spring break? Well, a few benefits include boosting your résumé for your future job search, opening up your scholarship opportunities, gaining wisdom for your college major decisions, and that overall great feeling you get when you do something truly awesome and worthwhile. (And that’s just the beginning.)

Here are a few ideas for how to spend that coveted week, so you can say you did something besides growing a week older.

Volunteer

Who doesn’t want to make the world a little better?! If you’re not going on an official “alternative spring break” volunteer trip, you can still get in on the goodhearted action on your own. Plus, if you’re starting to apply for summer jobs and realize your résumé looks a little sparse, volunteering is a great thing to add, even if it’s a week’s worth. You might even find something you really enjoy that could change the trajectory of your college major or future career! Local animal shelters, soup kitchens, museums, hospitals, libraries, and even local K-12 schools are a good place to start. You could also try talking to daycare centers or short-term camps.

Intern

Most college internships last much longer than a week, but you might be able to find a gig just for spring break. Since most of your fellow students will have the week off, you may find companies need the extra help. In any case you’ll certainly set yourself apart by being driven enough to give up your vacation! Reach out to your campus career center to see if they can help you find a spring break internship. Or if there’s a business in your field you’d like to work for someday, ask if they’d be willing to let you help out for the week. (If not, you might be able to shadow someone there for a day or two, whether you do any hands-on work or not.)

Study abroad

Many college and university study abroad offices know there are lots of students who simply can’t afford to study abroad for a whole summer or semester. To solve this, there are often shorter trips offered during spring break. Some are actual study abroad where you take a class during the trip; others have you do the course work beforehand and then visit related areas; and some are simply travel for fun, no schoolwork involved! These kinds of trips are perfect if you want to study abroad but don’t have a huge budget or are nervous about being away from home for a long time. Even if you are planning to study abroad for a semester or year, these short trips are a great way to see what it’s like before you take on a larger trip or study. 

Related: The Experts' Choice: Colleges with Great Study Abroad Options

Take a class

I know it’s spring break, but hear me out! Depending on your college or university, there may be short classes offered over break. These may be single-credit-hour classes and/or classes where you do a lot of work in that one week, but if it means one less class later, it may be worth it. Talk to your academic advisor first to make sure it fits in with your overall schedule and credits you have available. Some spring break courses are even offered online, so you can still go home if you like.

Pick up a hobby

This may not seem like the most inventive, productive, or even “smart” spring break idea. But if you’re looking to spend the week wisely and all else fails, picking up a new hobby can always be fun and interesting, even if you don’t end up sticking with it.

You could try learning a new language through any number of online courses or smartphone apps (I love Duolingo!). You could learn to cook something new, since you’re at home with a real kitchen. Then there are unique hobbies like origami or calligraphy. Think of anything you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time. And if all else fails, read a book! Chances are, during the semester, you don’t have the time to read a lot more than textbooks, but now you have the opportunity to pick something up for fun—if only so that you can say you read the book before you watch the movie.

Related: How to Have an Awesome Spring Break...No Matter What You Do

So, CollegeXpressers: what smart spring break ideas do you have? Are you interested in one of these outside-the-box experiences, or are you doing something more relaxing and traditional? Keep in mind that with four (or more) spring breaks in college, you could also fit that trip to Cancun next year! Leave a comment and let us know what you’re up to.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
alternative spring break college spring break smart spring break ideas spring break spring break ideas what to do for spring break

About Emily Rogan

Emily Rogan is a college freshman at Morehead State University, where she's studying Communications and Theater. When she's not in school, she is an actor, musician, singer, and writer.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Chris Bell

Chris Bell

Bell College Consulting

The college lists on CollegeXpress are indispensable for sussing out creative additions to a student’s list, and the college-specific pages provide terrific commentary and suggestions for related schools. CollegeXpress is among the most trusted sources I use for information for my students.

Brooke Maggio

Brooke Maggio

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously in my college search in narrowing down the schools I’m interested in. Using the college search tool, I was able to narrow down my choices to schools that matched what I was looking for. I also used CollegeXpress for their scholarship search, which helped me find scholarships that I meet the requirements of.

Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

Jessica Rinker

Jessica Rinker

Student, Fairhaven High School; CollegeXpress Student Writer

My high school counselor introduced me to CollegeXpress freshman year. It has made such a difference in high school, and I plan to continue relying on it in college. CollegeXpress is my go-to because it addresses each aspect of being a student. There are the articles you’d expect regarding college applications and financial aid, but you will also find advice on things like de-stressing and maintaining relationships while balancing a heavy course load. CollegeXpress will also keep you updated on current scholarships through e-mails each Saturday. (They don’t harass you with any product promotion like so many other sites do.) CollegeXpress is a lot like an older sibling who has already conquered the challenges you are facing. Now, they are reaching out a helpful hand. I say take it.

College Matches