It seems that the concept of Spring Break, along with 4 a.m. pizza binges, the ability to watch daytime talk shows, and actually having an alcohol tolerance, seemed to die as soon as I graduated college and entered the so-called “real world”.
Although this is my first year as a post-grad (I graduated from Marist in May 2011), I can only imagine that realizing Spring Break doesn’t exist anymore gets easier as the years go by. It takes most graduates, myself included, months to find their first “real world job”, which is usually a low-paying, entry-level position that doesn’t exactly pay the bills or allow for the amounts of vacation time you received as an undergrad.
This is when the concept of the “death of Spring Break” comes to life. Sure, there are those people (side note: I hate you all), who can afford to take weeks off of work and travel to luxurious islands with their friends or family. Those lucky few get to experience post-college Spring Break. And while that’s great for them, the majority of us can’t afford to do that, especially with the high costs of student loans.
But instead of complaining about how I’ll never get to have another typical college Spring Break again, I’m going to quit my whining and relive my first and only college Spring Break experience from approximately one year ago.
It’s crazy to think that in March of 2011 I was a college senior packing my bags and mentally preparing for not only my first Spring Break, but also my first time out of the country, my first time on a real vacation, and most importantly- my first time on a plane. No I’m not a sheltered freak who is deathly afraid of planes, I’m just a poor girl from a small town who hadn’t had the opportunity to realistically travel far away. So as you can tell, this was a huge deal for me.
My college housemates and I (all 7 of us) decided to take advantage of a group discount and go on Spring Break in Punta Cana (a beautiful stretch of beaches and hot vacation spot on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic). We booked the trip as early as we could (October or November if I remember correctly), and I worked my little butt off for the next few months at my two part-time jobs to save up the $1,000 it would cost for the trip. We counted down the days until we would board that plane and set sail on our senior-year of college vacation.
For me, this trip wasn’t special just because it would be my first. It also couldn’t have come at a better time. Between the stress of college tests, projects and part-time jobs, I was also going through quite the quarter-life crisis. My relationship of three-and-a-half years ended very suddenly and on bad terms, and I couldn’t think of any better way to get over it and focus on having fun than a trip to a beautiful beach. Not being connected to my phone or Facebook was great! I didn’t have to see pictures of people I didn’t want to (ex-boyfriend and random girls), I didn’t feel the need to compare my life to anyone else’s (is my Spring Break as good as theirs?), and I could just focus on the time being. On top of that, there were so many other people my age there that it was easy to make new friends. This 5-day trip was JUST what I needed, and it really put me in a better place and allowed me to get back to being my normal self.
If you have even half of the attention span that I do, I know you won’t want to hear all the personal details of the trip. That last paragraph was probably enough to make you roll your eyes. So instead, I’m going to post some pictures and highlights (both good and bad) of my trip. I hope everyone who went on this Spring Break trip or got to experience their own can sit back and enjoy reminiscing about this very special time in their life. Because as any over-exaggerating and nostalgic post-grad will tell you, it’s all downhill from your last college Spring Break.
- Surviving my first plane ride! It was definitely a weird feeling taking off and landing, but I didn’t get airsick and actually did a lot better than I thought I would.
- The weather. I don’t think a day went by that it wasn’t 75-80 degrees.
- All of the new friends I met on the trip, ranging from New York to Georgia.
- Unlimited food and alcohol. Enough said.
- Being healthy the entire time and not getting sick from the food/water (you have to be careful when consuming water in other countries, especially the Dominican Republic).
- We ended up being placed on the un-renovated side of the resort. This meant a moldy smell, a shower that worked only when it wanted to, and maids who barely spoke English.
- There was a mix-up with our dining plan, so we ended up having to eat at the buffets for all of our meals instead of the themed restaurants. We survived on bread and pasta and tried to stay away from any questionable meat or dairy.
- Getting burnt. It was inevitable, but I faired pretty well. No sun poisoning or terrible burns, just some purple feet and a red chest.
- Returning back to the United States to cold and rainy weather. Reality.
Punta Cana International Airport
One of the 3 pools at our resort
The nice Georgia boys we met
A day at the beach
A walk on the beach
One of the last nights 🙁
Winning money at the casino
Leisure time at the beach
View from our hotel balcony
A nice picture of our sunburns
This is the longest green bean I’ve ever encountered. Yes, I ate it.
The grammar nerd in me got a kick out of this sign
So to answer the age-old question, “Is there a Spring Break after college?”, well not for me. Right now, anyway. But I have faith that in a few years after I start making more money and have accumulated some vacation days, I’ll treat myself to another much-needed break from reality. And maybe even blog about it.