Spring Break From Two Points of View

By Mona Malacane

Spring break … Spring break. Among the many differences between the two, spring break stands out in my mind as one of the starkest contrasts between grad school and undergrad. Some of these differences I welcome more than others … For instance, I think we all miss the unfettered freedom of undergrads at times – especially when the weather warms up and all you want to do is lay in the soft, grassy, sun-filled Arboretum instead of work in a windowless computer lab. But at the same time, many a fruitful and exciting research idea have come out of toiling away in the windowless computer lab, which can be equally as elating as a day in the sun (which in turn makes sun bathing on the weekends that much more enjoyable).

Maybe the freedom to sun bask wasn’t the best example after the weeks of temperatures that fell too far below my age for comfort. Pretty sure we would all agree that sunshine > no sunshine. But back to the point of my post! I find it interesting to think about these differences because they: (a) remind me of all the hard work that I have put in to get to where I am now (something we all need to remind ourselves because it is easily forgotten in the daily grind of deadlines and delayed gratifications of academia) and (b) offer good practice for perspective-taking and thinking about how the same event can be experienced so differently depending on your view. I was feeling a little introspective over this spring break so I decided to put some of these thoughts down into a gif-list for you all to enjoy.

1. Reactions to the last class on the Friday before spring break.


SB 1 ugrad


SB 1 grad


2. The emptiness of the city.

Undergrad: A reminder that you’re missing out on fun.

SB 2 ugrad

Grad: No traffic, no overcrowded gyms, endless parking options.

SB 2 grad

3. An entire week without classes.

Undergrad: What are classes?

SB 3 ugrad

Grad: Sleep, no readings and being able to write without a deadline over your head.

SB 3 grad

4. Traveling.

Undergrad: Beaches, Mexico, cruises

SB 4 ugrad

Grad: Home.

SB 4 grad

5. Conversations with people.


SB 5 ugrad

Grad: Talk about things other than classes, programs of study, assignments, group projects etc.

SB 5 grad

 6. Working over the holiday.

Undergrad: ?

SB 6 ugrad

Grad: Optional, mostly necessary, but significantly more relaxed.

SB 6 grad

 7. Returning to classes after a week off.

Undergrad: Dread.

SB 7 ugrad

Grad: refreshed, caught up, ready for the marathon to finals!

SB 7 grad


8. Non-academic things you accomplish while on break.

Undergrad: A tan (that will eventually fade).

SB 8 ugrad

Grad: Read interesting books,binge Netflix, more time for hobbies, and spring cleaning!

SB 8 grad

9. Walking around on campus.

Undergrad: Not in town.

SB 9 ugrad

Grad: Don’t have to dodge bikers, avoid people looking down at their phones walking straight at you, or skirt around people who walk in rows down a narrow sidewalk.

SB 9 grad

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