My First Spring Break Not On Spring Break

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Bradley Burroughs, Graduate Associate - Mississippi State University

March 27, 2018

Last week, one of my students asked what I did for Spring Break this year. When I told her that I stayed in town and worked, she looked surprised. “Oh, how was that?” she asked. “Great,” I replied with a smile.

In undergrad, all of my Spring Breaks consisted of going home for the first half of the week and then to a fun destination with some friends for the second half. During my senior year, I think I worked on an assignment and sent out an email related to an event I was planning. This was the most work I had ever done during a week away from school. So, to be honest, speending all of Spring Break on campus and in the office did not strike me as fun - at first.

I quickly learned that Spring Break for student affairs professionals provides its own set of freedoms and stress-free experiences. For example, not Bradley, far right, and two of his friends in Destin, Florida (March, 2011)having to fight traffic or someone for a parking spot close to our building’s front entrance was a pleasant way to begin my mornings. Plus, there is a real sense of accomplishment in being able to walk up to the counter at the campus Chick-fil-a without waiting in line and receiving your meal almost immediately! But, all “semi-joking” aside, what I did find genuinely refreshing about this year’s Spring Break was being able to focus on the three things that I consider to be important to me as a professional: my work, my relationships, and my purpose.

For whatever reason, this semester feels like one of the busiest ones I have had this far.  Having a full week to catch up on emails, get ahead on a few details for an upcoming conference, and rethinking some Fall programming was needed, fulfilling, and genuinely relaxing. Plus, as someone who values quality time with others, it was energizing to catch up with fellow coworkers and friends around campus. Since they had more flexibility in their schedules that week too, I was able to have authentic conversations and talk with them about work things as well as updates in life. The quietness on campus also allowed me to spend some time reflecting on all of the good that comes from our work with students while reminding me to appreciate where I have been, where I am, and where I am going.

I think that Spring Break as a graduate student and new professional will continue to give me exactly what I need during the middle of Spring semester. I love working with students on a college campus - their excitement, passion, and vigor are admirable and keep me going. But now I have found that Spring Break brings me a new kind of joy and relief.

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