Dont Break Bank Spring Break

Don’t Break the Bank This Spring Break: Staycation Ideas for MU Students

There are those who indulge in the cliché spring break trip to Cancun, Mexico or Key West, Florida, and then there are those who appreciate the low-key and relaxing time not going anywhere. If you find yourself staying local this spring break but want to keep busy, have no fear, there is plenty to do around here. Monmouth University is in a great location with easy access to both New York City and Philadelphia where there are never-ending activities, like going to concerts, shows, and restaurants.

If this break was your time to be lazy and not travel far, lucky for you Monmouth is surrounded by our own selection of concerts at the famous Stone Pony or PNC Bank Arts Center, shows at any of the numerous performing arts theaters like the Algonquin Arts Theater in Manasquan if not our very own Pollak and Woods Theater, or even some delicious-tasting and super healthy food from restaurants like Seed to Sprout in Avon by The Sea.

There is lots of local talent in the area, especially in the art department at Monmouth. Senior fine art major Monica Cioppettini, President of Artists for Change, the on-campus art club is showcasing her art in Brooklyn on Wednesday, March 15 over spring break at the Brooklyn Bazaar. According to their website, they are a “Weekend night flea-market scene with live bands, food stands, drinks, art galore and Ping-Pong.”

If you are lucky, or for some, unlucky enough to be employed by one of the many local businesses in the area, spring break is the perfect time to take on some extras hours. While most people go away, business owners often look for extra hands to pick up the slack. Now is the perfect time to put in some extra legwork, make some extra cash and either keep it for savings or splurge on yourself for a little bit after a long and stressful first half of the semester. For those that have jobs, serious or not, during the school term, spring break is a blessing. Students like  

Huascar Holguin, a senior music industry student, is usually at the office by 8:00 a.m. and could benefit from some time off. “I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy the beach during the day as opposed to getting home after sunset,” said Holguin. “I live right on the beach but feel like I barely ever use it to my advantage.”

For some unique ideas in the area, you can rent out a two-hour slot over at Stumpy’s Hatchet House in Eatontown where you and a small group of friends can practice your axe throwing. Stumpy’s provides a safe and alternative form of recreation and adventure while teaching you the basics of hatchet throwing. If that does not suit you, take a day to clean out your house and closet of all unwanted items and apparel and take a drive over to Goodwill in Ocean. There you can either donate clothes, furniture, and housewares or find some cheap and funky pieces for yourself.

If weather progress to warm 60-degree days, a beautiful hike through Hartshorne Woods Park in Atlantic Highlands might be in order. The park houses old World War II bunkers over 14 miles of hiking and biking trails.

If you chose not to go away because you did want to do anything, there is always the simple act of relaxation. You can wake up as late as you want, not get dressed all day, pig out on some take out, and catch up on your favorite show. On the other hand, if you like to wake up early, have a nice healthy breakfast, and get your daily workout in, you will love the emptiness of the gym over breaks. You can practically hear your heart pumping on the treadmill with how quiet it gets.      

Senior health and physical education student, Caress Fenton is looking forward to the extra space in the gym. “It’s basically dead. If anything, the local adults come who have gym memberships to the gym because they live in this area but for the most part its empty during breaks,” she said.

Dr. Vaughn Clay, Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services, offered some advice to the soon-to-be graduates. “This is a big time of year for a lot of folks. If you have some free time and it’s spring break, now is a good time to try and line up that job for summer, or put the finishing touches on your resume if you haven’t already done that so you can get yourself ready to go out and hopefully start getting some interviews for that first real job out of college.”

Clay urges students to “make use of the time” and the academic advising services that will still be open for regular business over breaks like writing and career services.

It is an evenly split crowd between those that go away and those that stay. Some people just are not about the party all day and night lifestyle and prefer to wake up late, go to an empty Monmouth gym, and catch up on their favorite book or TV show. If you’re one that knows you’re staying in the area but worried about what you can possibly do to pass the time or still have a good time, just use the time you wouldn’t normally have to yourself to explore and find out.