By: Matt Wegh, Managing Editor
Folks, we’ve finally made it. Spring break for Illinois Wesleyan students begins next Friday, March 9.
Particularly at IWU where students do not get federal holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President’s Day off, spring break is a welcome break from on-campus obligations.
Many students campus and nationwide choose to take this time to converge on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas, South Padre Island and other similar tourist destinations.
Other students choose to spend their time with family, taking exotic trips to make once-in-a-lifetime memories with loved ones.
And finally, whether it be due to lack of money, friends or planning, a good portion of students either go home or stay on campus for their mid-semester week off.
Even if this is the case, there is still plenty for a 20-something to do in their time off that can be fun, interesting and likely better for you than a week of binge-drinking in the sun.
First things first, try to avoid social media at all costs.
Boredom may lead to Instagram, but pictures of people you know in 85 degrees is not great for that “I’m all alone” feeling.
Along with that, try to remain as busy as possible. There are worse things than working part-time if possible or needed. Now is the ideal time to make that extra few bucks to get through April.
Also, since it is March and things are beginning to thaw, outdoor activities like camping, hiking and fishing are good uses of time for a spring break at home.
There are thousands of state and national parks across the country, and a simple search on the Department of Natural Resources website will show any and all near your location.
Some require a fee and others don’t, but after picking a location, all that’s left is to go.
Lake Evergreen and Lake Bloomington are nearby BloNo, and both offer hiking trails open to the public.
A more adventurous option might be Starved Rock, a state park about an hour north of IWU that offers hiking and camping.
Miller Park is another great place to spend some time. There is the popular Miller Park Zoo, which is less than seven dollars for admission, and boat rentals are also available at Miller Park Lake.
For the less-outdoorsy types, this may be the best time of the year to go to the movies.
Black Panther, the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is being heralded as one of the best movies of the year so far and has been killing at the box office. Smart money says it will still be in theaters after next week, and it is a borderline must-see.
Other major productions that come out or before March 9 include the movie adaptation of the famous 1962 Madeleine L’Engle novel, A Wrinkle in Time, political comedy-drama The Death of Stalin and The Strangers: Prey at Night, sequel to the 2008 horror/thriller The Strangers.
Not willing to leave home? Luckily, Netflix is adding some fire to their lineup in March.
On top of adding the original Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2, the streaming service has included mobster classic Casino, famous retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae, 300, and , Broken Lizard’s goofy comedy Beerfest.
On a more serious note, David Letterman’s Netflix original series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman premiered earlier this year and is worth catching up on.
The former Late Show host’s new show consists of hour-long interviews with highly notable people. So far, former president Barack Obama and prominent actor George Clooney have made appearances.
Human rights activist Malala Yousafzai will be the featured guest on the episode that premiered on March 9.
If movies and outdoorsiness aren’t the answer, look locally. Although less than glamorous, local museums, libraries or historical attractions can be a low-key great time.
The McLean County History Museum is right up the street in downtown Bloomington, an opportunity to learn a little about Illinois Wesleyan’s community.
They currently also have an exhibit about Abraham Lincoln in McLean county which is worth checking out.
The David Davis Mansion, one of the more tucked away attractions Bloomington has to offer, carries huge historical significance. A Victorian mansion built in 1887, it is also a prime spot for anyone interested in architecture.
At the end of the day, what’s most important about spring break is getting some well-deserved rest.
Whether you’re springing out for vacation or taking a break in Bloomington, it is always possible to have great spring break.