Swanson: The Benefits of the Staycation: Say Yes to Salt Lake City!

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By Gavin Swanson, Opinion Writer

This past week we’ve all been able to enjoy our time off from school. For nine days we don’t have to worry about our labs, essays or exams. Many have taken this opportunity to travel, whether that’s just a short trip to Bear Lake, or a more extravagant expedition, say to California, New York or maybe even out of the country. To those of us who aren’t so lucky and have been left behind here in the Salt Lake area only to watch stories of our friends’ adventures and pictures on social media, it may feel like our break isn’t as great as others’. But fret not. Just because we haven’t left town doesn’t mean our break is a complete waste. There’s a lot to be said for the staycation. And for those of us who have found ourselves taking one, you can take advantage of those positives.

To get one of the more obvious reasons out of the way, staying home for the break obviously doesn’t do nearly as much to your wallet as traveling does. Visiting another city or attraction relies on the support of your monetary funds pretty significantly. There’s the expense to get there, stay there, eat there, buy tickets and admissions, buy souvenirs and to get back. The damage to your savings only increases when you take into consideration that you aren’t working when you’re away. You’re only using up your money while not being able to replenish it when you return, and for a lot of students, that kind of luxurious spending isn’t justifiable.

People who work and stay in town for the break have one of two options. They can keep their same schedule that works around their classes, or they can take up more time at their jobs. Either way this ends up in the favor of the worker. If the worker keeps their schedule then they continue to earn the money they have been, while having the luxury of having the rest of the day off, since school is not in session. For a lot of students, the second option is just as enticing. Sure, their break may not be as much of a break in comparison to their peers, but they gain the benefits of a significant boost in their savings, as well as avoiding the boredom that can come from staying at home for too long with little to do.

Having to stay at home for long periods of time doesn’t have to be bad though. If you’re like the average college student, you probably already feel behind and confused by your classes. I know that I’m currently behind in two of my classes and not confident in one of them. So I’ve taken the opportunity to play catch up, to study and to practice for my classes. While I can’t say that I now completely understand everything in my courses now, I’m definitely much more prepared for assignments and exams than I was when the break started.

And to those responsible students who have managed to stay on top of their priorities and are satisfied with their current work schedule, there are still benefits to staying here in Salt Lake. For me, one of the most frustrating aspects of my day-to-day life during school is how little free time I have available. My weekends are usually spent at work and my weekdays are spent dedicated to school. As a result, I find myself having to decline opportunities to spend time with friends. So this week I’ve spent many free days with my friends, watching movies, getting lunch, attending parties, etc. I’ve had some unforgettable experiences and amazing times with friends this week that I wouldn’t have had if I’d taken off on a trip.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t travel. If the opportunity arises, if you have the friends to do it with and the resources with which to do it, then I completely encourage you to have that experience. But you don’t have to feel bad for staying here during the break, and you don’t have to see it as a waste. A lot can be accomplished through the staycation, both progression and relaxation wise. When winter break and spring break come by, don’t feel pressured to leave the valley. Instead consider just staying here with your friends and taking the time to re-stabilize and experience life here. So don’t be afraid to say “yes” to the staycation.

[email protected]chronicle.utah.edu