Surprised woman swimmer in alien glasses swimming cap on a blue background. High quality photo

Spring Break? More Like Spring Broke.

 

Words by Briana Pereira

 

As a 21-year-old, that’s just a girl in her last semester of college, trying to balance an internship, working full time, and four classes (that feel like another full-time job), let’s just say I haven’t necessarily been slaying the financial game as of late. And despite working my ass off all the time, I seem to have nothing to show for it. And time is not slowing down at all, in fact, just today I had to Venmo the second half of what I owed for my Spring Break plans with friends for the trip we have planned, and I nearly shed tears. I am super grateful that I was able to find something that worked out for me and my friends financially, and we are able to get away and enjoy a well-earned week off. But I also know for many that is not the case. Since everybody deserves a great Spring Break but might not be able to afford it, I’ve compiled a list of my top picks that you and your friends can do in order to have the best Spring Broke possible. Don’t let finances hold you back from living and making memories. Remember: YOLO and life is too short to say no. 

 

  1. Beach Day

This one might seem a little bit obvious, but if you are one of our coastal readers why would you not?! People are spending hundreds, if not thousands to get a taste of what you have right  in your backyard, so pack a cooler, pick up some snacks and grab your sunnies, and you’ve got yourself a day!

 

  1. Silver Springs + Salt Springs + Drive-In Movie

This is something you’ll want to grab your closest friends for because it is a two-hour drive (the more friends the cheaper the gas too). However, it’s definitely a fun day and I highly recommend it. Start the day by heading to Silver Springs for some hiking and see some monkeys. For a few extra bucks you can also do a glass-bottom boat tour to see manatees if you’re interested. From there hopefully you’re nice and sweaty. This is where you’ll head to Salt Springs where you can spend a few hours swimming and catching some rays. When the sun starts to set you and your party will want to dry off and get comfy as you head over to the Ocala Drive-In to watch a movie. Overall the tickets for the movie are pretty comparable to a standard theater but the experience of this is 10 times cooler. Pro-tip: Watching a scary movie in the dark in your car might be the most thrilling, horrifying, fun thing you will ever do, but I can totally recommend it.

 

  1. Play Tourist in Your Own City

This is an idea I personally really love. As someone who is continuously finding a new spot in Jax, I am big on trying new things. I feel like one of the best ways to find a new place is by going in as if you’re brand new to the city. As for recommendations, ask friends, Google “food blogs,” check out Tik Toks for the best things to do: There are so many resources out there that share the best spots in every area in every part of North Florida and for every niche too. Whether you like the arts, sports, nature, it doesn’t matter, hands down there will be something for you. Find a museum to explore, the MOCA Jacksonville is free to UNF students, faculty, and staff, and so is the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens for UNF students (Tuesday through Friday). Take the time away from the stress of life to find new places you like or even inspire a new hobby for yourself. 

 

  1.  Dinner Party With a Twist

Host your friends at a dinner party, but this time it’s a little bit different. Everyone has to bring five ingredients, but they have to be things they already had at home. Then you all come together to get creative and try and make a dish that is delicious and feeds the masses. Worst case the dish doesn’t work out, there’s always pizza (kidding, not really)!

 

  1. Game Night With Dessert Potluck 

Host a board game night with friends or family. Dust off your favorites or try out some new ones for a fun and inexpensive way to spend time together. Elevate the sweetness by having everyone bring their favorite dessert so bellies stay full and hopefully good ’ol competition stays nice and friendly.

 

  1. Have a Movie Marathon

Don’t even try to lie to me. We both know your social battery can’t last for the entirety of Spring Break and even if it can, we can’t always guarantee sunshine 24/7. This is Florida afterall. But it’s pretty self explanatory, whether you’re like me and even though they’re just SO BAD that they’re SO GOOD you can’t help but watch the “After” series over and over again (SORRY NOT SORRY, I’m literally not sorry at all), or you’re a Trekkie or want to watch a series for the first time, it’s the times when you have no commitments that are the perfect times for it. If you ask me, it’s OK to bed rot, only sometimes though. 

 

  1. Beach or Community Clean Up  + Picnic with Friends

Who doesn’t love giving back to the community? Something about a random act of kindness even if it’s indirectly affecting myself or someone else makes me feel so happy. I personally think volunteer work is 1,000 times more fun when I’m with my friends, so I encourage you to take some time out of your week to give back and help pick up trash, even if it’s 20 minutes on a walk during your beach day, it doesn’t have to be big. To make it even better, have a picnic and enjoy some snacks with your friends appreciating all of the beautiful nature around you as you’re eating. 

 

  1. Attend a Local Festival

For this one, be so real we live in North Florida, babies! There is always something happening nearby whether it is something weekly like the Riverside Arts Market or more quarterly like a 904 Pop Up down by the Seawalk Pavilion. Take a minute to see what’s going on nearby and enjoy some time outside while supporting local businesses. Be sure to check out this issue’s listing of all of the upcoming festivals for the spring for some inspo. 

 

  1. BFF Sleepover + Sunrise on the Beach

Listen, IDK who said you can age out of sleepovers but whoever did, I’d like to inform them that respectfully, they are wrong. I am a sleepover girly through and through and I am not ashamed to admit it. I love hanging with my girls, and whether we’re going out or staying in just having their company brings me so much joy. Point is, girls, guys or both, have your crew over and have yourselves a time! Whether you have your own little party, watch movies all night, play games or just enjoy one another’s presence, and then wake up stupid early and grab coffee before sitting on the beach watching the world wake up around you as the sun breaks the horizon. Sure, you might be tired, but it’s the moments like those that will never return. They are priceless, so take all of the pictures — in 30 years you’ll want them. 

 

  1. Make a Spring Broke Vlog

This one is less advice on one specific activity to do, but more an overall something to do with all of the moments from your break. Whether big or small, I am big on documenting all of the moments in my life. I love knowing I’ll be able to hold on to the memories of them forever. So be sure to capture the moments when you’re laughing so hard you nearly pee yourself, and your bestie falling over from being so drunk after leaving the bars, and you guys screaming your favorite song in the car make a compilation just because! 

About Briana Pereira

Briana Pereira is a student intern at Folio, who is about to graduate from UNF with a degree in Communication with a concentration in Multimedia Journalism. She has a passion for lifestyle writing. In her free time she loves spending time at the beach, hanging out with friends and finding new places throughout Jacksonville to try.