Spring Break may initially conjure daydreams of white-sand beaches, crystal blue seas, and most importantly, a break from your studies. However, spring break can be much more adventurous and rewarding if you think outside the norm. Even mom will approve of these activities.
Build a House
You may not always consider the many low-income families struggling to make ends meet when you’re snuggled up in your cozy Warner Pacific dorm room, but too many families are living in dilapidated houses that are too small and without heat. However, their plight is not going unnoticed. Through programs funded and organized by United Way and Habitat for Humanity, thousands of homes in hundreds of communities throughout the U.S. have been updated and constructed to meet the needs of those least fortunate, and you can get involved in the process.
This spring break you can help make dreams come true as you learn to build a house. Whether you are looking to give back to your local community or contribute in an area hard hit by natural disaster, there are various volunteer opportunities throughout the United States. Not only will you learn invaluable construction skills, the program also highlights how affordable housing builds strength, stability, and self-reliance for the most vulnerable families.
Are you interested in the sciences and want to travel the world? Consider joining an Earthwatch expedition over spring break. Committed to expanding research in wildlife and ecosystems, ocean health, climate change, and archaeology and culture, the dedicated volunteers at Earthwatch Institute are making a considerable difference, and you can join the movement.
This is one of the more expensive adventures to undertake, but if your funds allow, you may find yourself on an Amazon Riverboat in Peru, a wildlife reserve in Africa, learning about climate change in Queensland, Australia, or helping to conserve sharks in Belize. But don’t expect a vacation. While there is time for exploration, you will be put to work. Previous expeditions have proven how mammals in Nova Scotia are negatively affected by climate change, discovered that dogs were man’s best friend in ancient Thailand, and contributed to the increasing numbers of sheep and ibex in Mongolia.
Work on a Farm
Do you want to learn about organic farming and travel the world on a limited budget? Then WWOOFing may be for you. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a global network where hosts provide free food, accommodation, and opportunities to learn about the organic lifestyle in exchange for hands-on assistance. Your volunteer experience could include a variety of activities such as sowing seed, making compost, gardening, planting, cutting wood, weeding, harvesting, packing, milking, feeding, or even making wine, bread, or cheese. To get started, first pick a destination. There are of course WWOOFing opportunities in the United States. Or, maybe you want to travel beyond our borders. This is the perfect time to explore another country and nearly any place on your wish list needs volunteers. This includes places such as Costa Rica, South Africa, France, Israel, Korea, India, and so many more exotic destinations. If you’ve always wanted to travel the world, give back to the communities you visit, learn something new, and not go broke in the process, then WWOOFing just might be for you.
Take a Mission Trip
Has your involvement in Warner Pacific student life groups enhanced your desire to share your faith experiences with others? If so, a Mission Trip might be the ultimate spring break. Just one group that organizes such events is Mission Discovery, which has helped over 35,000 students and adults bring hope to the most forgotten communities. As a volunteer, you will share your unique journey with God while inspiring hope in those less fortunate, assist in medical clinics, empower churches to better support their congregation, help build homes, and feed, clothes, and educate orphaned school children. Mission Discovery organizes Mission Trips throughout the world but the most popular trip for college students is Guatemala Spring Break. There are costs associated with this trip, but for under $1,000 it will include your lodging, food, detailed itinerary, and any necessary worship and building materials cost.
Apply for Scholarships & Internships
Yes, I know you want to lounge by the pool in the warmth, but the weather might not be conducive to that activity. So, take advantage of your free time and get a head start on scholarship and internship research and applications. Hopefully, you’re not a procrastinator who hasn’t yet started the process, but even if you are, that is ok. Now is the time to get proactive. Maybe you’ve already missed out on a great summer internship, but this could be the next step in preparing for your future beyond college come the fall. Or, maybe you’ll find scholarships with deadlines scattered throughout the year so you’ll know what to work toward and have a firm calendar of deadlines planned for the coming month. With endless resources online and new opportunities popping up all the time, it’s rarely too late and never too early to get started on those applications.
Visit Local Museums
You might not have the luxury of escaping from your part-time job to really appreciate spring break the way you’d like too, or maybe funds are just short right now. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! With so many museums to visit, and student discounts galore, now is the time to use your free afternoon to pop over to local galleries or the modern art museum for little to no money.
Still looking for things to do? Explore your area, no matter how large or small. Take a walk in a part of town you rarely visit. Go for a hike on a trail you’ve always wanted to see. Grab a book at the library and read for pleasure in the park. Find a local volunteering opportunity and share your time with others. You don’t have to spend money to enjoy spring break. All you need is a positive attitude and break from you daily Warner Pacific student life routine.