While the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) canceled millions of students’ spring break, for many students, spring break was always meant to be spent at home.
Global pandemic or not, Casper Maneely, a Mason Gross School of the Arts sophomore, has been planning a spring break in their Demarest Hall residence hall for months.
Maneely explained that they expected to stay in their dorm after seeing that their residence hall remained open during Thanksgiving break in Fall 2019 semester.
Whether it be due to housing insecurity or due to a family situation, some college students prefer to stay on campus during breaks and holidays.
“Going home is not fun at all for me because my parents are recently divorced and still in that stage of hating each other, and they're doing petty stuff so it's really hard for me to go back,” Maneely said.
But while this is a feat that is challenging and painful, Maneely’s upbeat and sweet personality is pulling them through.
As many of us are finding out from this COVID-19 quarantine, good food, Netflix and creativity can make a staycation not only bearable but also somewhat enjoyable. Maneely, who has been watching Netflix, playing Animal Crossing and working on creative hobbies, definitely agrees.
Maneely said that campus during spring break — and especially during a pandemic — is “empty and desolate.”
Restaurants are closed and Brower Commons Dining Hall, which we know is perpetually problematic, was not accepting meal swipes.
“I walked in on the 16th to get breakfast and they’re like ‘oh, it’s either cash or card.’ I had to go back to my room, and luckily I had some cliff bars left over,” Maneely said.
Maneely explained that since then, they’ve decided to let meal swipes be used at the faculty dining which is still open. Maneely also made sure to stock up big at Target last Tuesday.
For Maneely, a typical day during this residence-hall-room staycation means waking up approximately 10:30 or 11 a.m, doing the typical bathroom morning routine and then breakfast time — Maneely’s been hooked on store-bought Starbucks coffee bottles.
Maneely said that starting after breakfast they play Animal Crossing and watch Netflix or Hulu for fun. Maneely’s been loving “BEASTARS,” a new anime show on Netflix and “Freakish,” a Hulu show about zombies, Maneely’s favorite.
Being that Maneely is a costume technician major, they said that they’ve been sewing and doing some embroidery work. So far, Maneely’s made a blanket and a stuffed animal with their Brother sewing machine.
After all the vacay-fun, it’s snack time — which is usually a bag of Cheez-its — and then repeating the whole Animal Crossing, Netflix binging and sewing routine until dinner time, which Maneely said is usually around 9 p.m. Maneely’s been loving Panera Bread-brand mac and cheese for dinner.
Maneely is enjoying themself, but this pandemic is unprecedented and living in a ghost town isn't necessarily ideal. Maneely said they’re going to end up staying with a friend who lives off-campus, but until April, Maneely will prolong this residence-hall-room spring break where they said “I’ve seen three people, other than myself.”
“I think there’s like two other students in the building. Sometimes I’ll hear the bathroom doors being opened, but I don’t really hear that many people move around. I know of one other person that’s staying here, but that’s literally it,” Maneely said.
Maneely’s spring break is definitely not emblematic of Hollywood movies, but neither have any of my spring breaks been. What’s more is that neither are any of ours this year, being that we’re all quarantined.
If we can all relate to something, it’s that we can adapt to almost anything. So whether it’s spending your break in your residence hall or canceling plans due to a pandemic, we can lay back, read a book, eat a scrumptious snack, beach or no beach.