Bearcat Bullet: Guide to spring break in Salem

Mar 19th, 2014 | By | Category: Lifestyles

By Alison Ezard

Spring break is a hallowed tradition among college students. According to all the teen television shows and movies I watched back in the 2000s (Remember the 2003 classic “From Justin to Kelly” starring American Idol’s Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson?), it is the time during which one piles all their friends into a car and sets off for a week of waving red cups around on the beach in Miami while wearing a bikini top and jean cut-offs.

But in real life, not everyone can just throw away a few hundred dollars—at least for a week of living out their tween spring break fantasies.

Those of us who live in the residence halls will likely go home to see our families and high school friends, while those of us who live off campus may opt to forego the whole vacation thing and just stay right here, thank you very much.

If, like me, you’ve chosen the latter, you may be wondering what to do with your precious week of free time.
Well, fear not, Bearcats, for I have compiled a list of zany activities that are sure to make your spring break a blast.

Backyard camping is a good ol’ standby for any “staycation.” Rent a tent from the Outdoors Program, grab a couple friends and zip yourselves in for a night of beer-fueled exchanges of your deepest, darkest secrets.

2. Explore downtown. Salem is full of little hidden gems like the candy and cupcake shop on State Street or the bead shop on Liberty Street, but you’ll never find them unless you allow yourself to get lost wandering aimlessly around the city. Spring break is the perfect opportunity to wile away an afternoon exploring.

3. Pack a picnic basket full of tiny sandwiches, toast, jam and tea, and spread out a blanket at Minto-Brown or Bush Park. If you can’t muster the energy to drag your carcass farther than a stone’s throw away from campus, the gardens at the Capitol Building would also make a lovely picnic destination.

4. Go full sloth mode. Turn off your phone for a few days so no one can bother you, and do nothing but eat sugary cereal and marathon Lifetime movies that won’t make you have to exercise your brain in any capacity. Just don’t forget to shower. Or not. No one’s going to see you anyway.

5. Pull a “Spring Breakers” and stick up a restaurant with your best pals while wearing matching pink ski masks in order to obtain the money necessary to fund a week of getting blacked out in Cancún or wherever it is they go. (I haven’t actually seen the movie). I mean, what could go wrong, right?

6. Alternatively, you could spend a day listening to James Franco saying “spring breeaaak” looped over and over. Perhaps the repetition of his Riff Raff-inspired character’s favorite phrase will inspire you to devise a wacky scheme for adventure more exciting than any of my sorry attempts.

aezard@willamette.edu

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