When you scrolled through social media during the summer break, you were bound to see aesthetic photos of your friends enjoying their vacations. Whether it was jetting off to a lavish trip to Cabo San Lucas, sipping a colorful drink along the Seine or laughing their heads off at Disney, you instantly began thinking you should have been traveling (or doing) more. The reality of these exotic vacays was the extensive amount of planning that actually went into them, like purchasing airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars. With a student’s budget, that can get quite expensive.

Senior communication studies major Morgan Penzella proudly chose to stay in her hometown this summer, explaining, “It’s been a very busy school year and I wanted to be home and prep for the fall.” Many students found that staycations increased their productivity, and they were able to get a lot of work done. Penzella continued, “I spent my time writing and rewriting a book I’ve been working on for a long time, which was great since most of what I write are critical analysis and research papers. I have been planning for upcoming events for the fall, my graduation and working.”

Working was understandably a popular option for numerous students this summer, as saving money is always a great idea. Senior communication studies major Christiana Davis is a prime example of this way to spend summer break. On how she spent her break, Davis stated, “Working. I went to Texas for, like, three days though.” There’s nothing wrong with a quick weekend trip.

Adventuring somewhere new can be thrilling, but it can also be stressful and tiring depending on the destination. There are numerous benefits to staying in town during summer breaks. For one, staycations are much easier to plan as there is no set schedule you must follow. You also get to play tourist in your own city and try out new places.

Of course, vacationing can be less stressful when receiving help. Junior environmental science major Emily Vees embarked on her annual trip to Hawaii this summer, with assistance from family, of course! She stated, “Hawaii was great. [I went] with my family, and my mom pretty much did everything. This is our third year in a row and we knew we were going to come back here from the moment we got on the plane back to L.A. last year.”

Whether you hop on a plane or hop on the couch, the key is to simply take time off. Leisure activities are proven to increase life satisfaction and decrease depression. They can also lower your blood pressure and stress hormones, research from the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center found. Ultimately, the destination matters less than the quality of life. No matter how you spent the break, the common thread here is to make time for what you love.

This is the opinion of Ciara Freeman, a junior communication studies major from Virginia Beach, VA. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to jcornblatt@theloyolan.com.

Ciara Freeman is a sophomore Communication Studies major and Journalism minor. She is a passionate student, global citizen and foodie. In her free time she enjoys yoga, acting and watching cat videos. Follow her on Instagram: @ciarafreeman_!

Life+Arts Intern

Ciara Freeman is a sophomore Communication Studies major and Journalism minor. She is a passionate student, global citizen and foodie. In her free time she enjoys yoga, acting and watching cat videos. Follow her on Instagram: @ciarafreeman_!

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