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Students Seek Stress Relief Over Break

By Tongyan Lin and Jenny Zhang


There is a palpable feeling of the tension oozing out of campus today. You can see the weight lifted from students’ backs, their shoulders rising from a tired slouch to face the prospect of a few days full of fun instead of stress.

Many will be going home, like Sharon B. Cohen ’04, and just relaxing. Ever the MIT student, she plans to “do some work” but will otherwise be occupied by family, friends and some “fun reading.”

Students eager for sunshine

Following far too many surprise days of snow this month, warm destinations are unsurprisingly popular among those students leaving. Shubhangi Saraf ’07 will be “enjoying the warm weather” while she visits a friend at Caltech.

In addition, various sports teams will be training or playing together over spring break in warmer areas. Mike J. Harvey ’04 is going to California with the lacrosse team. “I’ll be more excited once I get done with this problem set,” he said, indicating the papers strewn across the table. The MIT Women’s Crew Team will be training in Florida.

The sunshine state is also the destination for Alan L. Gardner ’05 and three of his friends, who are going on a road trip. Gardner isn’t sure how far they’ll get, though, and says his plans are open for now.

Of course, for some, it is the warm weather that is unwanted, and they are bravely willing to venture into even more snow. Maria E. Hidalgo ’04 will go snowboarding in Utah with her roommate. “I’ve been excited about it since December,” she said.

Daniel G. Oreper ’04 will be going skiing in New Hampshire this year, after a failed attempt last year to throw together a trip at the last minute. “I like extreme locations of all kinds,” he said, and added that “there’s nothing better than the crisp air of the mountains.”

“I feel that at MIT one often lacks the ability to do physical activity. I missed that,” Oreper said. He hopes to strengthen his legs while skiing to help him prepare for playing soccer in the spring.

ASB provides community service

Approximately 70-80 students will participate in Alternative Spring Break, which is in its eighth year of providing community service trips over spring break.

Luis E. Vidal ’06 ASB Treasurer, said ASB is doing six service trips this year to the Cumberland Trail, Mt. Pleasant in South Carolina, West Virginia, California, Costa Rica, and Miami. Vidal will be going on the Environmental Conservation trip to help build part of the Cumberland Trail. “I’m looking forward to it,” he said. He also said he “probably will bring some work because I’m taking a lot of classes.”

Jennifer J. DeBoer ’05, ASB publicity chair, said that ASB “usually works for an already established service organization,” such as Habitat for Humanity. She arranged the trip to San Carlos, Costa Rica where they will be “working at a local orphanage teaching art.” The goal is to show them “different education than they’re used to” and introduce a “different way of thinking.”

Students applied in December to participate in ASB.

Campus expected to be sleepy

Students who are staying at MIT generally have one objective on their minds: to get some much-needed rest. “I’m going to recover from this semester,” said Jessica E. Rosenkrantz ’05.

Parmook Khungurn ’06 will also stay in his dorm, after missing his opportunity to buy a plane ticket to his home in Thailand. Khungurn will “catch up on sleep,” “play video games,” and even do “a little bit of classwork.”

Another student who chose not to make the long trip home is Stephanie C. Cross ’05, who is from Hawaii. “When you’re there and over jet lag, it’s time to come back,” she said. As a result, Cross will hibernate inside and sleep. “Oh yes, I can barely remember the last time we had a break,” Cross said.

Sara D. Bissonnette ’04 is staying here because she is taking an acting class at Harvard. Beyond that, though, “sleep is fun,” she said. In addition, she will maintain a low-key week by playing video games and hanging out with many of her friends who are also staying on campus.

No matter what, spring break offers a brief window of time when we can all breathe deeply and relax.