For some students, spring break includes a sunny getaway with warm winds and salty air. However, the reality for those of us staying in the Midwest is an occasional peak of sunshine through mostly gray clouds and cold winds that pierce our faces with snowflakes. As a fellow Midwesterner who has endured many spring breaks in less-than-tropical conditions, here’s a survival guide to spending your spring break in the Midwest.
The cold doesn’t have to make you bitter. Instead, embrace the elements and try a new outdoor activity such as snowshoeing or going on a nature walk. As snow and ice begin to melt, signs of new life and growth will be visible in your time outdoors, and feelings of excitement for the upcoming spring may arise.
Haiden Larson, a University of Wisconsin-Madison sophomore and Wisconsin native, has spent the last three spring breaks locally and found that nature walks are a fun way to relax.
“Walking on a nature trail while listening to music is really therapeutic for me, even if it’s not the warmest or prettiest outside,” Larson said. “But hey, we live in Wisconsin, so you can’t expect a super scenic walk outside in the middle of March.”
Another way to stay busy is to get a head start on your spring cleaning, including physical, mental and even digital spaces. An obvious start is the space where you spend the most time. Whether that be your bedroom, living room or kitchen, cleaning and organizing your personal space is the first step in clearing your mind.
“I always feel so much better after my room is clean and organized, and it even energizes me to keep cleaning other spaces,” Larson said. “This is also a great time to try something new and switch up the layout of your room, or try a new organization method.”
There are many methods to achieving mental clarity, and success may look and feel different for everyone. Take this time off from school to prioritize relaxation through an activity like meditation, yoga, reading a book or even just taking a nap.
“Last spring break was when I started taking yoga and pilates classes just to try something new,” Larson said. “I was surprised at how great I felt after, both mentally and physically, and these classes are now one of my favorite hobbies.”
Finally, cleaning out digital spaces can make the return to school easier to navigate. This can be done by deleting unnecessary files off of your computer, organizing class materials into folders or going through email inboxes.
It’s best to think of your Midwestern spring break as a reset, one in which the glow of your newfound relaxation may outshine the bronzed skin and exotic stories many classmates will surely return to campus with.