Simpson students chose different paths over their spring breaks

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by Stephanie Woodruff, reporter

Spring break is a wonderful time when students can go home, see family and friends and hang out or they can travel and enjoy different weather and sights. It is a time to take a step back and not think about school and responsibilities. It is a way to relax and distress. Some people use it as a vacation and travel to somewhere tropical and nice others volunteer to help those in need.

This year, many Simpson College students chose to volunteer, with groups going to Florida, the Dominican Republic and more. Zoe Carlson, a sophomore, traveled to the Dominican Republic over her spring break for a service trip with Latinos Unidos. Their mission was to help out around the area with various volunteer opportunities.

“We were volunteering with kids in a running program, volunteering with children at an orphanage, donating items to them and volunteering to clean up a small church. I loved them all,” Carlson said. “The kids in the DR are some of the sweetest, happiest and most intelligent children I have ever met, even though not all of them can go to school. That place and the people were all so full of life.”  

Carlson’s break was what she described as a one of a kind experience. She learned a special lesson, how blessed she is to live in the United States. “I would see kids running around in dirty clothes and no shoes in the middle of the day because they didn’t go to school” she said.

But even through it all, Carlson said the people were always happy. “The entire country was a beautiful place full of music and color, and the people living there is what really made it for me”

The only thing Carlson did not like was being “catcalled” because she was the “only blonde for miles.” But she didn’t let that bring her down and all of it was nothing compared to how great the rest of the trip was, she said.

Carlson encourages anyone who has the chance to volunteer and travel. “Definitely take the chance. This was the best trip I’ve ever had in my life and the lessons I learned and the people I met were completely worth the struggle it took to get there.”

Students also traveled for sports, with the softball team going to Florida and the baseball team to Arizona.  Nick Carlisle, sophomore, traveled with the baseball team to Tucson for their opening baseball tournament.

“We were able to go hiking up some of the canyons on one of our off days. We were also able to enjoy the warm weather by the pools.” Carlisle said. 

Even though the team lost some games and the long bus ride wasn’t the best, Carlisle still had a great time. “Overall it was a great bonding experience for our team and I think it brought us closer together.”

Sophomore Brittany Frey traveled with the softball team for their tournament in Florida. The team traveled to Florida for ten days and played 14 varsity games and four JV games. The team did well in the hot and humid weather, Frey said. “We went 12-2 and 3-1 on the week with our games.”

But with all that hard work comes a day of play, “On our day off, we went to Clearwater Beach,” Frey said. “The weather was amazing so that made playing softball all day everyday even more enjoyable.”

While some were traveling for school sports others were just looking for a change of scenery and a vacation. 

Sophomore Matt Pullen traveled to Panama City Beach for his break. Pullen traveled to PCB because he had heard it was a great spot for college kids to go on spring break.

The area is a popular one when it comes to spring break; thousands of people flood to the beach for the month of March in hopes of finding a good time.

Pullen was lucky enough to see Luke Bryan during his spring break concert. “I honestly have never been around that many people at one time in my entire life.” Pullen said.

“The only bad apart about the vacation was the place we stayed. It could’ve been a lot nicer and closer to the most popular places,” he said.

Overall, Pullen was happy with his experience saying it was fantastic and that he wouldn’t have traded it for anything. “We have already started planning for next year,” he added.

Spring break is a time for relaxation and fun. Luckily, Simpson offers many service and sports trips so if students choose to not go home, they can put themselves to good use and be able to travel and meet new people.  Lots of students enjoy the fact that they have time to take a break and do anything they want for a week. Whether you’re going home or going on a trip, make sure your spring break is one to remember.