Adventurers thrive in free time

Brendan Wynne

Natty Cervantes, business sophomore (front), with her friends before heading out for another day at South Padre Island during spring break. Photo contributed by Natty Cervantes

South Padre Island. Colorado. Los Angeles. These are just a few places that students visited during spring break last week. With an entire seven days free of class work, professors and deadlines, students spent their spring breaks in a variety of ways.

“Some of my friends from back home offered to take me to South Padre for spring break, so after some convincing, my parents said I could go,” Natty Cervantes, business sophomore, said. “I’ve never done anything like this for spring break, so I was really excited.”

Cervantes spent four days in South Padre Island and saw dozens of other MSU students.

“It felt like everywhere I turned, I saw someone I recognized from campus. It was so crazy,” Cervantes said. “It was really the place to be.”

While many students saw South Padre as the vacation hot spot, many students found themselves in a wide range of locations and circumstances.

“I didn’t get to do anything super fun, per se, but I did get to move into my new house,” Haley Kelley, theater performance freshman, said. “I’ve just been living in an apartment for a year, so to finally get an actual house where my dog can run around and go outside, it’s a little crazy.”

Kelley, whose free time consisted of painting, packing and moving furniture, said that although it wasn’t an entirely easy process, it was well worth it.

“Sure, I end up sweaty and covered in paint spatters, but it’s all worth it when I step back and take a look at where I am in my life,” she laughed. “It’s a good place.”

While some students found themselves hard at work during the break, others took full advantage of the opportunity to catch up with old friends.

“A few childhood friends and I took a camping trip up to the Grand Canyon really early in the week,” Sarah Graves, mass communication freshman, said. “Honestly, getting to hang out with them was like old times, and it’s always fun to revel in nostalgia.”

Though Graves said her camping trip was memorable, it was her latest adventure that she said she will never forget.

Sarah Graves, mass communication freshman, poses for a selfie with actress Jessica Capshaw, one of the stars of the television show Grey’s Anatomy. Photo contributed by Sarah Graves

“I went to Paleyfest in Los Angeles to meet the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, the television show, and honestly I’ve never been happier,” she said. “Ellen Pompeo, one of the stars of the show, actually gave me her autograph on a sticky note and I’m going to frame it. I got pictures with just about all of the cast, so it really was just a dream come true to meet the people you’ve adored on TV for so long.”

Marketing senior Frank Cruz also visited Los Angeles for two days, but for a different reason.

“I’ve always dreamed of working in L.A., so I actually went out there to apply for jobs,” Cruz said. “I want to work for a dance studio out there.”

Cruz also did a few tourist-y things — he walked around downtown Los Angeles and even paid a visit to Buzzfeed and Santa Monica Beach.

“Downtown L.A. is no slow life. It was a busy two days, but I had a great time,” Cruz said.

For the rest of spring break, Cruz headed down to Austin with his sister, his friend and his sister’s boyfriend. They visited the HOPE outdoor gallery, the famous “I love you so much” mural, Sixth Street and iconic restaurants such as Gourdough’s.

Unlike some students who sought out the sun and sand, students like Micah Cooke, mathematics junior, found comfort in the charm of alternative cafes.

“I got to go to Colorado over break, which was just what I needed,” Cooke said. “I got to go hop around unique, alternative little coffee shops, and got to just sort of bask in environments that really spark creativity and inspiration. There was a coffee shop that had this special book on a shelf, and when I opened it, it was filled with lists of all of the random people who had visited the shop. It was really awesome. The weather and people were wonderful, so that was a real plus. Of course, I also did some rock climbing while I was there. How could I not? I’d go back in a heart beat. My spring break was exactly what I needed to make it through the rest of this semester.”

Additional reporting by Kara McIntyre.