Giving Time

The week before spring break, most of us feel like we’re bicycling backwards through a deadly obstacle course–with our hair on fire, no less. That particular mindset practically demands a relaxing spring break.

Of course, there are ways to feel human without hitting the slopes or going to the beach or falling into electronic rabbit holes. Vanderbilt University has developed a particularly wonderful way to help its students find themselves as they engage issues that are important to them: Alternative Spring Break. ASB allows students to pursue service opportunities for the week they’re out of school in March. Some will work with a farm-to-table program that helps inner-city youths in New Orleans. Others will help out at an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. All told, students will go to nine different sites this year.

I’m not sure that MSMS could create a program like this. Students here are minors, which means that some liability issues affect us that don’t affect Vanderbilt. However, if we could, what percentage of MSMS students would participate? What sorts of projects would y’all want to do?

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24 Responses to Giving Time

  1. Bill Arnoldus says:

    I believe less than 10% of students (>22) would go to a program like this. I feel as if most students will either enjoy their Spring Break relaxing, doing recreational activities, traveling, working for money, and/or going to college programs that will help them with their future. I don’t know what type of program I would like to attend.

  2. Maurisha Arnold says:

    I also think that not many people would participate in programs like this during spring break. Spring break is usually a time where students wind down and hang out with friends. After finally getting a break, I don’t think students would want to do anything but relax and get away from MSMS. Although, if I were to attend a program I’d want something that had to do with animals, like visiting a local humane society.

  3. Christina Zhang says:

    I estimate that maybe 20% of students at MSMS would participate in this type of program. Specifically for MSMS, there are many options for projects that can be done, including tutoring sessions, or enrichment camps both on or off campus.

  4. Eren Riggle says:

    Sadly, I don’t think many students would be able to do a program like this. Maybe somewhere between 10-15% may be able to participate. With students being located from all over Mississippi, it would be a hassle for some of them to get from home to the programs if they were in person. Many students by spring break are extremely burnt out and just want to sleep in if they are not going on a trip. If there was an ASB program, I think enrichment camps for specific topics or something to help tutor younger students would be interesting.

  5. Vishnu Gadepalli says:

    As cool it would be for people from MSMS to participate in a program such as the one above, I don’t see many people going through with it. My guess is for about 10% of students to participate. The reality is that a majority of students don’t want to do anything during their spring break that doesn’t entail them relaxing. It is also not practical because students live all over the state, so the distance from camps will definitely be a limiting factor. However, if a student were to do this program, it would look great on their resume because it distinguishes them from other students. While others are not doing anything noteworthy over the break, colleges will be impressed if someone were to be involved in this form of community service. If a program like this were to happen, it would be cool if there were individual camps tailored to different interests, and since we go to MSMS, it would make sense to have programs courses ranging from humanities to STEM and everything in between.

  6. Claire Ellison says:

    Around 10-20% of students would probably want to participate in something like this during their break. Unfortunately, many students who attend MSMS do not have their means of transportation, and having to be dependent on means of transportation makes programs like these hard. A project I would be interested in is helping wildlife within Columbus Lake. I could learn a lot doing while also helping my community.

  7. Hong Zheng says:

    I suspect around 5-10% would participate in something like ASB during their spring break. While the program sounds appealing and attractive to maybe college resumes, I think there are too many obstacles. First, the number of students with access to transportation. That might cut the number to about 50%. Then you have to consider the number of students who have planned vacations or students who are in need of a break from school. That might cut the number to 15-20%. Next, the opportunities offered might not even appeal to many students. This cuts it to around 10%. Finally, you ask yourself what reasons would that person join those service opportunities? Are they participating in order to get away from home, to prepare for the future, or just because they are bored? With these considerations, I believe around 5-10% would participate in a program like the ASB.

  8. Gordon Welch says:

    I think that about 15% of students would want to participate in this. With everyone going home for the break, most will want to sit around and do mostly nothing throughout the day. However, if more students were willing to participate, I think events like handing out free food to those in need would be a good idea. Maybe, students could also do a form of community service in their hometown to help others. Whether they simply help clean up a public park, or donate old clothes to a local store such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Palmer House.

  9. Harsika Dillibabu says:

    I think it’s a really cool idea but, unfortunately, I think only 10% of the student population would be interested in participating in a program such as ASB simply because students prefer to spend their spring break destressing. For MSMS students, spring break is an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family and give time for things outside of academics and anything school-related. Also, students would have to go out of their way to travel for long hours. If this program was an actual thing at MSMS, I think I would prefer to do things like food drives, volunteering at marathons, and tutoring.

  10. Maurisha Arnold says:

    I think about 15% or less people would participate in a program over spring break. This is because Spring Bream is a time for relaxation -and some partying- but overall a time away from stressful school. It would be difficult for MSMS to host something like this because a lot of people live far away. If we were to do a program like this, I would love to see something that has to do with the Humane Society.

  11. Keynijah Queen says:

    This seems like an amazing opportunity for MSMS students! Sadly, a lot of students here, around 50 percent don’t have access to their own means of transportation. Plus, a select group of students are going home for the first time in a while and would rather spend that time with their families, or are going on vacation. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, many MSMS students would rather take this time to relax due to the large amounts of stress they get from school. When thinking of all these, I would guesstimate the number to around 20 to 25 percent at most with an average number of 15-20 percent.

    • Keynijah Q Sullivan says:

      When thinking of something I would like to do, I think a lot of local projects such as food drives, book drives, and cleaning an area would be nice.

  12. Carolena Graham says:

    Being that I am currently at the Capital working as a Page during Spring Break, I honestly believe it depends on the person. I was originally supposed to be living my best life in Dallas, Texas but I got this last-minute opportunity that I could not turn down. I am very service-oriented and have some aspirations in public policy. Would I rather be enjoying the break in Texas but I have a problem saying “NO” to anything that feels beneficial? “YES.” If a program like this was presented to MSMS students I believe those who are service-oriented would defiantly participate, especially if it seemed beneficial. I’m not going to deny the fact that we have several students who would rather sleep the week away. MSMS is undeniably time-consuming. I often have little to no free time and would love to have some “me time.” In conclusion, it honestly depends on the responsibility od the student and the way they prioritize their time.

  13. I love this idea so much! However, I only approximate about 15% of MSMS students participating in this program. Several students are exhausted and want to take advantage of a full week without school. Also, it is the perfect time for students to reunite with their families and spend time together. If we were to initiate this idea, I would suggest visits to nearby zoos or parks to volunteer with animals. We could potentially read to children at local libraries as well!

  14. Cali Orman says:

    I would love to get involved in a service project with MSMS. I think that depending on the project we could get 50% of the student population to get involved. A big drawback is that for some students extended breaks are the only time they get to see family and many students use breaks to catch up on sleep and rest.
    I would really like see us do something with children in the community I’m not sure in what way but we could do tutoring or just playing with kids like a big brother/sister thing.

  15. Eddie Lai says:

    If we were to do this program, I think that about 10%-20% of students would attend. Being at this school is harder on students than their previous home school. Almost all of our time is spent on campus, and going home is only a monthly thing. With such a large break, I doubt many students would be willing to attend. Something fun we can do over the break if it were to be hosted could be something like a visit to the riverwalk trail. The trail is just a relaxing place to be, and people could also picnic there too. Something else we could do could be is maybe clean up the campus and play sports.

  16. Arika Gardner says:

    At most, 20% of students would be willing to participate in this program. I would participate in this program since I do not vacation over spring break. Usually, I use that time to apply for summer applications or enjoy hobbies I couldn’t do at school. We already have math outreach, so we could implement that into the spring break program. We could also do a sports outing with children with soccer, tennis, and basketball. I love doing community service projects so we could make drives and find a way to help our communities in this program.

  17. This would be a great opportunity that I am sure many students would be interested in. Unfortunately, many students are also people and desperately need a break. I am sure many overachievers would participate if maybe it was scheduled to be a short-term program, giving time for much-needed sleep and spending time with friends and family over spring break. I would estimate 15%. I would love any community service work that would likely have to be in Mississippi, although I am definitely okay with going anywhere else.

  18. James says:

    I feel like while the opportunity is an important one, it would be near impossible for most students, as for us to be able to, many bridges have to fall in line, from permission, financial ability, the desire to do this type of thing, and prior commitments. It would definitely appeal to some, it probably wouldn’t be near enough to warrant it.

  19. India White says:

    I believe that less than 20% of students at MSMS would participate in a program such as this. As spring break drew closer student stress got higher. By the time spring break comes along there are not many people who are willing to stay on campus for another week if they are not required to. Most students just want to go home and take a break from the hassle that surrounds this school. If rarely any students want to stay at the school over spring break, then I doubt any of them would be interested in participating in a MSMS orchestrated program.

  20. Aaron+Sharp says:

    Many students would appreciate the opportunity provided, as most students at MSMS strive to make themselves better. Many students might be held back by their parents, however, because their parents are already giving up a large part of their child’s life by sending them to MSMS, so the short breaks we have are all the time they get to spend with us. I think it would be a great opportunity that many students would jump on, and I think no matter what the topic is (within reason) there would be bites on the metaphorical hook, I’m just not sure how many.

  21. Jeremiah McClain says:

    Depending on what each MSMS student’s future occupation is, I really think that the hypothetical percentage would be higher than most people think, around 50 or 60. We all came here because we want to pursue our vocation and any program would be beneficial to our resumes and our future. We all know that MSMS gives a lot of work, so that’s why I believe about half would rather relax or Spring Break. I think the other reason would be that some students believe they have enough experience in their future occupation, applying to seniors most, and they are just ready to start college.

  22. Nicholas Popescu says:

    With not much to lose and a way to fill an otherwise mundane spring break, such a program could be a popular implementation in MSMS. I estimate around 20-30 students would participate. This program could give students a facet to show colleges’ interests in various subjects as they prepare resumes and applications. Projects could range from Ukraine fundraising assistance to job shadowing.

  23. Jeremy Dawe says:

    While programs such as ASB are practical at large, resourceful colleges, MSMS would struggle with the amount of participation. Spring break is treated as a time to return home and see family and friends by the majority of students. This means that few people would be likely to participate. However, the program itself would be beneficial to those that partake, giving students more ways to show a connection to their community.

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