A Longer Vacation or None at All: The Olympic Spring Break

For college students across the country, the words Spring Break conjure thoughts of hot sandy beaches, perfect tans and parties that go all night long.

But not this year.

With the Spring Semester schedule thrown into disarray by the Winter Olympics, U students are looking at quite a different picture.

“I’m probably going to be working,” said Jessica Hill, a freshman whose hours at Bed, Bath and Beyond, the linen store where she works, will probably increase with the arrival of the Games.

Darrel Willliams, a junior, will also be earning money rather than spending it.

“Basically, they want me to stay, otherwise I would leave,” said Williams of his employers in Protective Services at the Marriott Library.

Not only will it be too crowded, but “parking is a nightmare,” he continued.

As the Olympics draw closer, students are hunkering down and making plans for the extended Spring Break, which runs the course of the Games, from Feb. 2 to 26. Spring Break normally lasts for one week in the middle of March.

Senior Dave Beck is excited for the changes the Games will bring. “It’s going to be the biggest party in the world,” said Beck, who plans to be a driver for NBC.

And whether or not they want to attend that party, many students are having to rearrange their lives because of it.

Junior Alease Bott usually spends Spring Break in Moab with her husband, who attends another university. But this year their breaks do not coincide.

Instead, “I’ll just be working,” she said.

Fabiola Evans, a freshman, said she and her friends may take a week off in March, when other universities have their spring breaks. During the U’s break, Evans will continue working at Sizzler.

Instead of spending his days off relaxing as he normally would, Sophomore Nick Edwards will be working for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, helping set up and put on a production of “Light of the World,” a play which will run throughout the Games.

The extra long break will also give students a chance to travel and to spend more time with family and friends. Sehong Park, a junior, will be travelling to Seattle to meet up with friends.

Sophomore Joseph Alston is excited for the long break. “I get to spend some more time with my girlfriend,” he said.

Alston will be heading off to Pocatello, Idaho, for the duration of the Games. He also plans to use the time to prepare for his LDS mission and to write research papers.

Perhaps the luckiest students, though, are those the Games barely touch.

Melissa Chamberlain will be in training.

Chamberlain, a U swimmer, said the Olympics won’t have much affect on her life. “The only thing is ?school will be out and I will have more time to relax,” she said.

Tyler Hone does not foresee any major disruptions in his schedule either. Hone, a graduate student in theoretical chemistry, plans to continue with his research throughout February. The only difference?

“I’ll probably avoid downtown more than I regularly would,” he said.

Some students have just not planned that far in advance.

“I thought I would just see how bad it could get. I’ll just go skiing or leave the city if it gets too bad,” said Volker Daum, an international student.

If he decides to leave, Daum will probably rent a car and travel to California.

“I have not even thought about it,” said Jami Sorensen, a junior. “I’ll probably just stay here with friends.” Whatever she decides, Sorensen thinks she’ll remain in Salt Lake. “The Olympics are a once in a lifetime chance,” she said.

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