Vacation should broaden horizons

What are the first words that come to mind when you think of spring break?

No school.

Vacationing to a tropical destination.

What about learning?

Or volunteering?

Typically, when students think about spring break, they don’t generally associate using their week off from school by learning or volunteering.But some Baker University students are doing just that on their days off next week.

For instance, Ryan Beasley, associate professor of political science, is taking a group of five students to Montreal, Canada during spring break.

The group is attending an International Studies Association Conference, where it will be able to go to panels and sessions and learn about a wide range of topics concerning international studies.

The students will also be able to use this trip as a way of getting help on their senior seminar class final projects.

So, even on their days off, these students are learning, and not only that, they are getting to learn outside the classroom and outside of the country, for that matter.

But, it’s not just learning that is happening over spring break.

Some students are using their week off to volunteer and make a difference, while still getting to travel to a warmer destination.

University Minister Ira DeSpain is taking several students on a mission trip to Alabama next week in order to do volunteer work. They are going to help clean beach areas where sea turtles lay their eggs in the spring.

These students will be able to make a difference and still have fun, all at the same time.

But even if you don’t decide to go on an organized school trip like some students are, you can still incorporate learning, volunteering and, of course, fun into your holiday repertoire.

After all, spring break doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be all about relaxing.

Sure, having a weeklong break from school is nice, but honestly, how much partying and sleeping should be consumed in a single week?

And, while it may not seem like it on the surface, the experience can be more valuable, and more fun, than staying at home and simply watching television.  

So, before you check out of your dormitory room and check into a vacation, maybe you should check into broadening your spring break horizon to other words than simply, no school or vacation.

You may find out fun can actually come in other ways and a volunteer or learning experience can give you a look into the cultural diversity of the world.

The Baker University administration speaks about being global citizens and learning outside the classroom, so students should take advantage of these opportunities in order to better broaden their horizons.