Spring Break is looming right around the corner for students at colleges and universities all across the USA… Here are six tips for students to help make sure that this spring break is a fun and safe time for everyone.
For road-trippers and jet-setters
Make your phone work for you! Program all important phone numbers into your phone before leaving. This includes airlines or other transportation, credit card companies (in case you lose one and have to cancel), hotels (be sure to plug the address in there, too, in case you get lost), and phone numbers for everyone in your group *and* their emergency contact (parents, significant other, et cetera). If you are going out of the country, you may also want to put in the number for the US consulate in that country. If you have a smart phone, you may also want to download apps related to travel or your specific destination, or bookmark certain sites in your phone’s browser.
Be smart about pictures. You know how they say “Whatever happens in Vegas (or whatever other fun place you’re going), stays in Vegas”? That stopped being true right around the time that digital cameras and cell-phone cameras became common. While the absolute best way to ensure that no-one takes any risque pictures of you and your friends is to not do anything risque, if things do get a little crazy, consider deleting the pictures before downloading them onto your computer… or anyone else’s. Or, if you do want to keep them, store them in a password protected file. Just remember that once a picture is released onto the internet, it’s likely to be there for a long time, so protect yourself and your friends by using good judgment. An easy rule of thumb for whether or not to post something is whether or not you can explain it to your parents (or the parents of the person in the picture) without being embarrassed.
Try to stay on a sleep schedule. If you go on a trip for spring break, it’s very tempting to stay up late, sleep in late, and just generally throw your usual schedule to the wind. However, if you get too far off your usual schedule, your first week back at school is going to be BRUTAL. So, try not to go more than a couple of hours later than usual for going to sleep, and don’t sleep in more than a couple of hours later than you would usually get up. You can get more information about healthy sleep patterns through the National Sleep Foundation.
For those enjoying a “stay-cation”
Be extra watchful if you live in a place where a lot of people are gone for the week. Burglars and other not-so-good types may take advantage of the lack of potential witnesses to commit their crimes. Make sure that you do all of the usual things you would do to keep yourself and your belongings safe. It might also be a good thing to offer to watch over your neighbors’ place(s) while they are out-of-town, especially if they have pets or plants. This will reduce the chance they are victims of a crime while gone, while also building up a good relationship between you and them.
Take a mini-vacation, even if you can’t go far. Something as simple as spending the afternoon in the park or going for a bike-ride through a pretty neighborhood can be a nice change of pace. Or, go splurge on something like a massage to recharge yourself. If you are on a budget, check and see if there are any massage training schools in your area. Students at those schools have to give a certain number of hours of massage to people for their licensing, and the schools allow clients to access those services for very low prices.
Use this time to get ahead in school. If you are staying home, then you automatically have a time advantage over a lot of people who are traveling, because you won’t lose time to standing in lines at the airport or driving to and from your destination. Use those hours to your advantage by doing things like reviewing class notes, working on a big project due at the end of the semester, or just making sure all your big test and assignment due-dates are in your calendar. Anything you can do now, while things are relatively calm, will be a big help later in the semester when things start getting more hectic.
Anyone got anything to add? Write them in the comments!