Spring break — the short-lived break we receive each year where, for one whole week, thinking about school is taboo and doing homework is forbidden. Usually for this break, students jet off to the hottest beach or the nearest college town to participate in debauchery so creative that even Captain Jack Sparrow would be proud.

But what’s out there for the students who don’t want to spend all their savings solely on one week of entertainment? Are students fated these days to choose between going crazy in the sand or staying on a dead campus? Not according to senior Rita Basconi, who decided as a first-year to try something different than the typical spring break vacation and went on a trip aptly named, “Alternative Spring Break (ASB).”

“Alternative Spring Break is an option for people who aren’t so keen on the ‘party spring break’ scene to still have an incredible week, meet new Centre students, and do service work in another city,” Basconi said.

“It’s cheap, open to all students, and they offer different destinations each year. When I went on ASB, we went to Destin, Florida. What I gained from ASB was more than I could’ve gotten from going to Daytona or Panama for a week–or even a million weeks.”

While Basconi valued her experience, she also remembered the dynamics of her group.

“I recall getting into one of the minivans we were taking down to Destin, and finding myself surrounded by five people I’d never seen before, and one person I kind of knew. From what I observed in the short time we sat in the parking lot, waiting to leave, this was a rambunctious group of close friends and I could tell the next ten hours were going to be entertaining, at the least,” Basconi said. “Those next ten hours certainly were entertaining, as were the next seven days, and even my next two years at Centre, before they all graduated. Sitting in that van with those crazy people turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life because I haven’t stopped talking to those people since that day three years ago. In fact–this year I have convinced them all to join me in taking my spring break and we are all meeting in DC for a few days. So basically, I’ll never have known a Centre spring break without these people and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Doing service projects is always a good way to give back to the community as well as making the most productive use of your spring break, but are those your only two options? Go on spring break with your friends to Florida or go do community service with a group of strangers? Junior Jean VanNoppen opted for a third option when deciding her spring break plans this year — going home. Now while that may seem like a fate worse than death for some students on campus, if you really stop to think about it, you’ll realize that sometimes going home is just what the doctor ordered. Not only is home where the heart is, but it’s also where the fridge is always stocked, your pets are available for snuggles upon request, and your spot on the couch still has your imprint from where you sat in it for three days straight last break. Not to mention seeing your family as well.

“For the past two spring breaks I have gone skiing with my family in either Colorado or Utah,” VanNoppen said. “Other than obvious reasons, I went because skiing/snowboarding is a wonderful way to close out the winter season, and the spring break weather is perfect for it. This year, I can honestly say I’m going home because I miss my family. I definitely plan to sleep in, stay up late, watch T.V., and relax every day.”

But what about making great memories with your friends?

“I feel like I am missing out a little,” VanNoppen said. “I live with my friends and we see each other every day and have great times together. My family, on the other hand, I see far less often. In my mind, seeing them is what breaks are for.”

And what about ASB? Was it worth it? Would you have rather gone with your friends somewhere else? Not Basconi.

“If I could do that ASB all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Except wearing sunscreen,” Basconsi said.

It seems that whether you plan to bronze it up on the beach, spend your break giving back to the community, or peacefully rest at home with your loved ones, there really is no wrong decision when it comes to how you spend your seven blissful days known as “spring break.”

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