Spring Break: From New York to Chicago

by Sami Diaz-

Most people don’t think of New York City as a place to relax but for me, having been born in the midst of the hustle and bustle, it recharges me to be surrounded by so many strangers and skyscrapers. Though it was technically spring break, there were certainly no spring temperatures to be had and hardly any sunshine either. The majority of my break was spent reacquainting myself with dollar pizza and inside public libraries, borrowing Captain America comics and working on my Division III. My favorite library to work in is the Stephen A. Schwarzman (a.k.a. the one with the lions out front); the vaulted, decorated ceilings, the large windows, and the relative silence are all that I need to actually get things done. No trip to NYC is complete without a visit to a museum, at least for me. I chose The Met this go-around, which is still suggested donation as long as you have thick enough skin to withstand a dirty look. But with metrocard fares having risen another 25 cents (making a round trip anywhere an even $5) on top of an extra dollar fee to get a new card as opposed to renewing an old one, I doubt anyone will really blame you for being frugal. There are rumors The Met might open its doors on Mondays as well, so keep your eyes open for that the next time you’re on the Upper East Side. My last full day in NYC was spent acting as a tour guide for friends of a friend, leading the gang through Chinatown, Soho, Union Square, and back to Grand Central Station. Whenever I come home, I always wonder if I still read as a native New York. Then I’m asked for directions to John Lennon’s memorial, despite having my headphones on, and all doubts are alleviated.

by Elyssa Czynski-

Homeward bound to Chicago sounds fun, and it was, just a different kind of fun. I had to go home this break to pack up my room because my mom is moving to a new apartment. This, in addition to a lot of class work, made up the bulk of my spring break. I didn’t really mind it though because, believe it or not, it was colder at home than it was here, and the things I needed to do were all indoors. This was also the first time I have been home since turning 21 and, I am not kidding, my mom has been counting down until this moment. I spent every night of my spring break drinking with one of my parents. I went from posh pub to dive bar to snobby tequila tasting (that one was my favorite drinking event I did all break). I may have done as much damage to my liver as any springbreaker in Cabo or Cancun, and I did it with parental guidance about which $12-a-glass beer I should drink. I did do some typical I’m-home-for-break things, such as see friends, go shopping, get fed, and make all the mandatory family visits. Overall, it was good and I now, kind of inexplicably, feel more grown-up.

by Michelle Lifson-

As someone who does not live in the area, I can attest to the fact that travelling at Hampshire is tedious. I fly into Chicago from Boston; the airfare is cheaper because that is a commercial flight. I was able to find airfare that was less than $200 round trip. I bought two one-way flights from separate airlines. However, my travelling days are usually upwards of 9 hours. This makes the day very tiresome because of all of the waiting in between buses and at the airport with minimal sleep. Flying home, my first bus was at 1:00 PM, and my flight took off at 8:00 PM, getting me home around 10:20 PM (ET). That was the only bus I could take to ensure I would be there in time.

Once I got home, I was happy with the fact that many of my friends were home so I was able to lounge around the house a lot. I tried to use my time as productively as possible. I completed the course readings for the rest of the semester for two of my classes, and completed some future writing assignments as well. That is why I love being at home during Spring Break—there are minimal distractions. I live in a small suburban town of Chicago, so there is not much to do usually. I spent a lot of time with my family. So largely, it was a productive break—I completed a lot of homework and watched many movies while relaxing on our couch at home.

Coming back was very difficult. I had a 6 AM flight, and by the time I got to my Peter Pan bus stop at South Station, it was 10:04 AM and I had missed my bus by four minutes. I had to wait another two hours to get the next bus, delaying my arrival to Hampshire by 3 hours (the next bus is longer than the one I was supposed to take). By the time I got to Hampshire, I was done for the day. I was happy I got to be home and be productive, but I was exhausted at having to wake up at 4:30 AM and not getting any sleep during the day.

My takeaway message? If you do not have to deal with the trials and tribulations of travelling far from Hampshire, you are lucky! Enjoy the ease of your travels, because I wish my travel days could be that easy.

photo courtesy of google images

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