Spring break should mesh play and productivity

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Some students get so excited about spring break they forget about school and take in the sunshine, while some use the time to study, study, study and get ahead of classes, but neither is ideal—or smart.

Janessa Nielsen, a senior English education major from Spanish Fork, said it is smart to balance study and play.

“Everyone needs a break,” Nielsen said. “I wouldn’t say to spend most of your spring break studying… I would say 30 minutes a day. Just study or work on something, then you’re not stressed when you get back because you didn’t do anything.”

Nielsen said she is spending her break at her best friend’s wedding and working on her senior capstone project.

“I have to have seven pages of my 20-page research paper in at the end of spring break,” Nielsen said. “My goal is to have three pages done before spring break and then write a page a day, and I’ll be three pages ahead.”

Ryan Henslee, a senior accounting major from West Jordan, is going to the Dominican Republic with his friends over spring break but isn’t forgetting about school.

“I’m getting most of [my homework] done beforehand and then watching my classes online when I’m there,” Henslee said.

Nielsen also said it is good to be prepared for the future.

“I would tell [students] to look ahead and study ahead—even if they think they’re all caught up,” Nielsen said.

But she said not to stress too much.

“I would say still have fun, though,” Nielsen said. “Don’t wear yourself out studying on spring break because that’s what you do in school.”

Henslee said if students need to study, then it is smart to study the boring topics before the break and save the more interesting topics for later. Henslee also said studying isn’t the only way to stay productive during the break.

“I would say stay active physically,” Henslee said. “You don’t want to go and gain 5 pounds before you come back because you sat around and ate. That would be my best advice—don’t get fat. Nobody wants to get fat for summer.”

Communication assistant professor Xi Cui said students should be able to use the break to recuperate from school and relax.

“I personally would like for students to have fun and have a really good week without having to worry about school work,” Cui said.

But Cui said if students need to study, there are good ways to go about it.

“My personal preference would be to do things up front and then get some rest later,” Cui said. “Finish all the assignments as early as possible, but it really depends. Some people might want to just spread things throughout the whole week and do a little bit every day.”

Cui said as a professor, he tries not to make students stress about his classes when they should be taking a break.

“Spring break is a break,” Cui said. “I don’t have extra assignments for spring break, so people don’t have to worry about my classes at all.”

Henslee said while stressing about what to study over the break, it is also smart to stress about planning your trips.

“It sucks planning, but you have a lot more fun,” Henslee said.

He said if students wing the trip and don’t plan beforehand, they waste most of their time trying to organize than actually having fun. He said some vacation tips are to plan three months ahead for big trips, at least two days for smaller trips, to have transportation when you arrive, and to go with the right choice of friends.

“Go with friends you want to be with and who are not obnoxious,” Henslee said. “That ruins trips. If you’re going on a long trip, realize your friendships are going to be strained, no matter what. Always.”