by Carly Stinson, Daily Vidette Staff Writer
Warm weather is right around the corner, so pack your bags, finish all your last minute assignments, and prepare for spring break 2012.
Some students may return home for this break, many others are venturing off to sun, beaches, and good times.
While ISU provides alternatives to hotels and beaches, many have opted for just that.
Junior and athletic training major Manny Ozoa has organized an all-inclusive trip to Cancun via Student City that has grown to include a group of about 80 ISU students. Possibilities seem endless in Cancun with guaranteed warm weather, provided food and beverages, and a large group of friends to go with.
“I chose Cancun this year because I wanted to go somewhere where nice weather was guaranteed. Last year I went to [Panama City Beach] and the weather was so inconsistent that I had to wear a hoodie at times on the beach because it was cloudy,” Ozoa said.
Ozoa added while Panama City Beach was a great time, he feels that it is important to know the weather will be up to par when going on vacation.
Ozoa went through Student City Travel Services to organize this trip, which is a popular organization for college students.
While the expense was costly, he explained that “they helped break down the amount to be paid into monthly installments and our travel agent helped me work with some of my friends who had difficulty paying on time.”
The Grand Oasis Hotel will provide all meals and drinks for the entire stay, along with a party pass for each person.
A unique trip will be taken by junior business administration major Conner McNally and a group of 30 of his friends. They will be driving to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and taking a three hour cruise from there to the beautiful islands of the Bahamas. “We got a great all inclusive deal that includes a bunch of activities like snorkeling, booze cruises, and performances,” McNally explained.
Not everyone will get this combination of a cruise, followed by a weeklong trip on a tropical island. McNally explained how this trip will compare.
“Last year I went to Fort Walton, Fla. with some friends but I think this trip will blow that [trip] out of the water. We will be able to do so many more things at the Bahamas that we couldn’t do in Florida.”
Another hot spot for ISU students this year is Panama City Beach, Fla. PCB is known as “the Spring Break Capital of the World” for its parties, bars, celebrities, and more.
Senior physical education major Matthew McFall said, “I decided on PCB because of money and the reputation that PCB had. PCB is about the shortest drive, which saves money, and also gave some of the best rates for a group.”
McFall also explained that he has heard nothing but great things about the experience and can’t wait to spend all day long on the beach.
ISU provides alternatives for students who prefer a cheaper route, yet still don’t want to return home.
Get a chance to give back with Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF), a national non-profit organization.
According to Erin Holden, junior nursing major, “Our mission is to reveal leadership through service, relationships and action. Though we run programming throughout the entirety of the school year, our main event is the Pay It Forward Tour (PIFT); a spring break, cross-country service trip.”
The PIFT provides the opportunity to travel to seven different cities in nine days, including Memphis, Tenn. and Surf City, N.C. They travel with four busses with up to 40 students on each.
According to Holden, each day they complete “a service project that usually reflects upon a need or social issue that is unique to each city.”
There is a variety of service completed throughout week, ”including working with the elderly community, special needs individuals, environmental protection, youth programming and development, animals/wildlife, etc.,” Holden added.
Holden said the advantages to the PIFT is rewarding and truly incomparable to anything else.
“The empowerment that comes from being with people who support you is life-changing for many and the best part about the relationships formed on the tour is that they can be brought back to campus,” she said.
Holden also adds that PIFT should be on every college student’s bucket list.
As college students, spring break comes at a cost that most of us struggle with – money. However, McNally said it’s worth it explaining that, “spring break is an absolute must for a college student, you will get to have one of the greatest times of your life.”
“You have to go at least once before your college career is over. Spring break is easily one of the biggest highlights of each of my years in college, hands down,” Ozoa said.