5 College Spring Break Ideas

Ginger Abbot

Feb 26, 2023
college spring break ideas

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Relish your spring break while you have it. The United States remains unique in being the only nation that doesn’t require paid leave for workers, meaning many adults don’t take a single day off all year. How can you make the most of your sweet freedom with some killer college spring break ideas? 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to have fun while simultaneously padding your resume. After all, a week of straight partying will do little but drain your bank account and perhaps leave you with regret. It’s okay to kick back a little but first explore these five college spring break ideas. 

1. Volunteer 

It’s the Great Conundrum: Every job you apply for requests experience, but how are you supposed to earn that qualification if you don’t already have any? Enter the marvelous world of volunteering. Best of all, a bit of resume padding isn’t all you’ll gain from the experience. 


Have you been feeling anxious or depressed since starting college? Research shows you could significantly benefit your mental health by volunteering. How? It increases all kinds of juicy neurotransmitters in your brain, like serotonin and dopamine, while providing an endorphin rush. 

This activity also helps you develop a sense of agency, that you can make a positive difference in your world. Do you feel powerless against the ravages of climate change? Participating in a beachside cleanup may not solve the entire problem. Still, it will convince you that you aren’t alone in your desire to see a cleaner, healthier planet for the coming generations. 

However, don’t forget those resume-padding perks. You can build valuable experience through volunteering — and show future employers that you care about giving back to your community. Talk about a win-win. 

2. Intern

Have you spoken with your academic advisor recently? While many internships last a semester or longer, you might be able to find shorter interim opportunities that get you more of that valuable real-world experience while introducing you to others in your chosen field. You might even get an “in” with one of your top companies — how cool would that be? 

Talk to your advisor early to get the best opportunities, but don’t hesitate if you already delayed. You can let them know you’re seeking spring break options as early as your first semester.  

Don’t rely on them to do all your legwork, though. You can often find other opportunities online, so do your research on popular boards and submit your interest. You might even try reaching out to your preferred company directly to ask if they need extra help over the break — if nothing else, you’ll impress them with your proactive, take-charge attitude. 

3. Work 

Do you need a bit of extra cash for books or simply healthier food that ramen a few nights a week? Working may not sound like a fun college spring break idea — but there’s no need to dedicate every day to it. Of course, you can do so if you choose, as long as you give your brain a breather. Pushing too hard without a break can make you burn out and adversely affect your grades. 

You probably won’t find many traditional jobs hiring for a week or two, so get creative. If you have a part-time position while in school, can you bump up your hours or cover shifts for someone else? Is there a working ranch or farm near you that nearly always needs extra hands? Physical labor can provide a meaningful mental break from all the heavy lifting your brain does during the semester. 

4. Get Ahead in Your Coursework 

Be honest: did you rock finals last year? Did you give your best effort to that term paper? If you waffle before you answer, you already have your reply. 

Here’s a college spring break idea: why not use your spring break time to get ahead? It’s generally easier to revise than draft an essay fresh, so get started on that 10-pager you know is coming due in May. Hit the books and ensure you’ve mastered the material. 

Check with your instructors if you need extra help. While some instructors enjoy spring break as much as you do, the era of tenured professors with relaxed lives is a relic of the past. Many adjuncts will also use this time to get ahead and may have a bit of time in their schedule for a one-on-one tutoring session. Please remember — they’re technically on vacation and are doing you a huge favor, so be polite. 

5. Travel 

Perhaps the ultimate college spring break idea is to hit the open road. Mark Twain once wrote that travel is fatal to prejudice. If you want to broaden your horizons, why not see how people in other parts of the world live? 

Getting your passport stamped might not be as expensive as you think. Have you investigated volunteer travel opportunities? While mission work is traditionally associated with churches, you can now find non-religious volunteer abroad programs that offer reduced rates in return for your help building infrastructure in rural communities or distributing necessary supplies. You’ll return with a renewed sense of gratitude and valuable new skill. 

College Spring Break Ideas 

Cherish your spring break — adult life doesn’t offer nearly as many opportunities to rest and recharge. Nurture yourself, but make the most of this time. 

Why not consider one of the five college spring break ideas above? You’ll enjoy your time, gain valuable experience and make a difference in your world. 


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