Before I got to Swat and heard about fall break, I thought what people meant by fall break was the few days off that came with Thanksgiving. When I realized we had a whole week off in the middle of October, I was completely surprised. What would I do with that whole week? Should I go home? Should I stay on campus?
Ultimately, I decided against going home for a few reasons. First of all, it feels like I just got to Swat not too long ago. With academics and extracurriculars, the past six weeks of school were jammed packed with activities and they completely flew by. Also, I’m from California and the plane ticket isn’t the cheapest. I knew that this week would be the perfect time to explore the campus and the surrounding area without the hectic schedule of school. Here’s a brief list of things you may consider doing if you do decide to stay on campus over fall break.
Check Out Nearby Cities
Swarthmore’s location near Philadelphia places it in the perfect location to explore various exciting cities. Over fall break I visited both New York City, where I saw a musical with some friends, as well as Philadelphia, where I spent some time exploring the city. Of course, if musicals aren’t your thing, there are tons of other sightseeing destinations in these major cities. It’s impossible to explore all of New York in one day, but some nice destinations include Central Park, the 9/11 Memorial, and the Empire State Building. When it comes to Philadelphia, for me, any visit wouldn’t be complete without a great Philly cheesesteak.
Visit Friends At Other Colleges
Again, Swarthmore’s location is a big plus. It’s only about two hours from New York and two and a half from DC. Furthermore, getting to schools in these cities is extremely convenient. Buses run by companies like Greyhound and Peter Pan are affordable and make transportation painless. I visited a friend at a school in DC over the break and had a great time catching up and getting a sense of what a larger school environment was like.
Explore Swarthmore’s Campus
Without all the students roaming around campus busy with class or work, Swarthmore takes on a more serene feel. Fall break is also when the seasons begin to change and, as a Californian (who’s never really experienced four seasons), it was beautiful seeing the leaves change color. I also took a brief walk around the Crum Woods and enjoyed the scenery as well as the general feeling of isolation. It can be easy to be caught up in campus life and it’s nice knowing the Crum is a place where students can pause and reflect.
You’ve been working hard all semester. Take time during the break to relax and prepare yourself for the second half of the semester. Make sure when school starts again that you are well-rested and ready to go.