Spring Break, right? When you are younger, society sells it to you as a great time where you and your peers flock down to Miami or the Jersey Shore in droves for a week of hedonistic debauchery. Or maybe you just go home, see some friends, visit the old high school and chill out for a week.
Sounds great, right?
Well, not everyone makes it off campus for this much-needed vacation. As you spend more time at Stony Brook, you come to learn the undeniable truths of this university: the food is super-expensive, the bus app is unreliable more often than not and the campus is dead on the weekends.
Now take those three things and make them constant issues for about a week and you have an accurate representation of what spring break is like on campus. I had to stay because I was scheduled to be on duty in my building and let me tell you, this is not somewhere I would want to spend my break.
Dining was a huge issue. For some reason, the only dining hall open was the SAC, and it was only open from about 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Now, I can understand cutting down on services in anticipation of a severe lack in on-campus students, but this was a bit much, and it was a problem not helped by the fact that I had to be in my building’s college office from 5 to 11 p.m. each night.
Luckily, I found a couple of other people to order take out with, which I truly believed they saved my life.
And if you think the campus is dead on the weekends, you have never been here over the Spring Break. Or, if you were, you didn’t go outside—which no one can blame you for because there is nothing to do and no one around. Walking around campus in the hours before my shift started, I saw only a handful of students, usually walking alone and clutching a bag of food from the Student Activities Center, undoubtedly for later because the SAC closed so early. I imagined I felt the way the characters on The Walking Dead feel when they find more survivors.
What’s arguably worse is how empty the buildings get. The only time I’ve been more creeped out my residence hall is when I was here until the day of Graduation last year. All my suite-mates left and so did most of the building. It was not a fun time.
But over Spring Break, it’s different. You know there are at least some other people on campus, you just don’t see them. Like ever. Nothing made me more uneasy than having to do rounds several times a night through an eerily quiet building. I only ran into people twice during my rounds and both times I was more surprised than I should’ve been to see them.
The only—and I mean only—saving grace was the super-secret events that happened on Friday. You see, the university is aware of these short comings and as a way to make it up to us they decided to have a huge event on Friday. (Unfortunately, it wasn’t advertised because the administrators ran out of print quota.)
But it was wonderful. They had bouncy castles and inflatables in the SAC plaza, catered food from Ten89, Cabo Fresh and O Sole Mio; there was even popcorn, cotton candy and a table where you could actually meet and see President Stanley. It was an amazing day.
If I were you, and you had a choice in going home or going to Cancun or just leaving campus for Spring Break, I’d take the trip.