It’s that time of the semester again. UMKC students along study for midterms, type out papers and work on projects due in the coming weeks.
Stress can pile up with all the assignments, but there’s a break for students and faculty just around the corner.
“I am really looking forward to spring break,” said Blue Springs, Missouri native Rachel Baier, a sophomore at UMKC studying architecture. “Having some time to rest and recover from studio is definitely a blessing.”
Baier plans on spending most of her spring break at home, working on projects and tasks she’s put off during the semester.
There are other students, she explained, who plan on enjoying their break in Florida or camping in the Ozarks. Others intend to work during break, bringing in extra funds to pay for bills and supplies.
Students have enjoyed spring break for countless semesters over the years.
According to springbreak.com, spring break got its start in the 1930s when the swimming coach at Colgate University in New York decided to take his swim team down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for an early start on swim practice.
Fort Lauderdale had recently built Florida’s first Olympic size municipal pool. Soon, word spread and many swim teams all over the nation made the trip to Fort Lauderdale each spring.
Another attraction, the Elbow Room Bar, soon opened and became the popular night life hangout for the young college students.
By 1953, over 15,000 students were making the trip to Florida each spring. The large gathering grabbed the attention of several popular magazines and even inspired the comic novel and adapted film, “Where the Boys Are.”
Today, students still use spring break as an opportunity to travel and relax.
“I will be traveling to Chicago with my roommate for three nights before leaving for Miami, Florida, with my parents,” said UMKC student Chase Grubb, a sophomore majoring in Business Administration. “It will be a fun, relaxing break!”
Many of Grubb’s friends are also spending their spring break at fun locations, he said.
“It is a nice breather during the middle of the semester,” Grubb said.
Spring break affects more than just students, however. Professors and other faculty members put the break to good use too.
Peter Morello, an associate professor in Communication Studies at UMKC, says faculty members may use the time off to catch up on research, prepare for upcoming semesters or, like students, travel and relax.
Morello plans to visit family in New Orleans, Louisiana and spend some time reviewing media sources helpful for the journalism courses he teaches this semester.
“It helps everyone re-charge their batteries for the remainder of the semester,” Morello said. “It also gives administrators and staff who are not on break time to get things done without having faculty or students on campus.”