Spring (don’t) break (the bank)

There’s a lot of pressure on Spring break, maybe too much. We look forward to it through the first half of second semester every year and it’s honestly the only thing that keeps us going to that 8 a.m. on the third floor of Henderson every Tuesday and Thursday in the bitter cold. You and I, we need a break. And to be quite honest,we need Spring. It’s been too ridiculously cold for too ridiculously long. But in the words of Phineas and Ferb, “the annual problem of our generation is finding a good way to spend it.” That being said, look no further and save no more. Here’s a list of five relatively affordable day trip ideas to fill your Spring break with a good time.

Let’s be real, you’ve been trying to build your Instagram aesthetic for a while now. Spring break is your chance to really lock it in. Smart phones are the taken-for-granted marvel of our time. Grab a photographically inclined friend and go exploring in downtown Topeka or main street of your home town. If you have one of those super cute but equally impractical polaroid cameras, this is a prime opportunity to make it worth its purchase. Maybe, like me, you were blessed with a friend who has a passion for photography and who would be willing to use you as their model for a day. One of my favorite pastimes is going exploring with one of my best friends and taking pictures like we work for a magazine. It’s incredibly fun and totally not conceited at all.

When I was a kid, Goodwill was the last place you would catch me shopping at. Little did I know that eventually I would wise up and realize the hidden treasure that thrift stores are to society. There are so many clothes out there in the world. Take advantage of this and pick up that jean jacket you’ve been Pinteresting for a month now. Grab a belt that will put the finishing touch on the outfit you’ve been debating on wearing or not. Maybe fashion isn’t your thing and you honestly couldn’t care less. Something my friends and I like to do is find the most random, weird, out-of-the-ordinary trinket we can find and gift it to each other. The only goal of this is to feel the satisfaction that comes from the bewildered look on the other person’s face and their confused laughter when they finally lay eyes on the random treasure that will most definitely spend the next year cluttering their desk.

Go into nature and read a book. Yes, the lakes are ice cold and you would have to be insane or nonhuman to get into the water but there are other options. Go fishing, bring your hammock, go on a jog or throw a ball for your dog. I’m not from Topeka so until the end of last school year, I didn’t realize that Shawnee Lake was only fifteen miles from campus. There are trails, docks and even a picturesque stone gazebo that looks out over the lake. Just don’t hang your hammock from its posts because apparently that is frowned upon. Bring some creative materials or maybe just your headphones and tap into your inner zen. After all, Spring break is a break so take some time to chill the heck out.

Maybe you’re really just looking for a good time. Make a day and/or night out of getting dressed up and driving to Kansas City to seek out the hottest club to unleash your inner dancing queen or king. However, if you’re like me and that’s not exactly your scene, there are more options. Go see a movie at the fancy Imax theatre that I think is actually worth the inflation, grab some food at a nice restaurant or seek out a cultural experience such as a museum or open mic night. It’s okay to learn something over spring break as long as it’s something you can also have fun with while experiencing. Check something off of your bucket list and come away feeling accomplished. Many things like this are also free and open to the public, so you can be sure to save some green.

Gather your pals, decide which car is least likely to break down, get some garbage snacks and a lit playlist and hit the road. Have an itinerary or don’t. Maybe just flip a coin and see where you end up. Even if you don’t end up anywhere but lost, you’ll have one more unforgettable memory with people who mean a lot to you to add to your long-term memory bank. Roll the windows down, I instruct with the hopes of warmer weather, and sing at the top of your lungs to songs that you claim are “your jam” but you may or may not know all the lyrics to. Dance as much as the seatbelt will allow and really feel those endorphins waging war on the stress you’ve been building up for the past few months. I promise you won’t regret this one.

I hope that at least one of these ideas appeal to you and your weary, strapped-for-cash self. From personal experience, I can say that all of these ideas have at least one success story to claim. In the end, spring break is just what we need, debatably later than we need it, to unwind before we reach the final lap of the school year and come to spring break’s bigger older sibling, summer break. Be wise with your time and make sure you spend at least one day doing something other than playing video games and eating leftovers in your parents’ basement. And hang in there Bods, we just have a few days left.