Spring break for senior communications major Emma Keller: The beaches and partying in coastal Mexico.
But that was pre-pandemic.
Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, and even Rosarito Beach have been on hold by most Chapman spring break regulars.
But Keller considers herself one of the lucky ones. She still has a major love of her life — snowboarding. Instead of warm weather beaches to unwind from Zoom classes, she will be hitting the slopes. And with family.
“I go snowboarding at least five times a season, but it all depends on my schedule and the amount of snowfall the season gets. Keller said, “Going during spring break will be my sixth time snowboarding this year.”
As COVID-19 is still not under total control, Chapman students are looking for different ways to enjoy their time off.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who must travel should exercise caution, stating, “The more steps you take, the more you and others around you are protected against COVID-19.”
Health experts still say flying should be kept to a minimum.
So Keller will be traveling 4-5 hours by car from her home in Orange County to Mammoth Lakes, California.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, I took things very seriously and barely left my house. Now I let myself have a bit more freedom when I know it is safe. My family and I have made the sacrifices necessary to keep my high-risk grandfather and the rest of our community safe.” Keller said.
Travel restrictions and her own concerns about the virus get in the way of things she would like to be doing right now.
“In the past, I might have been planning a big trip to Mexico with a big group of my closest friends,” Keller said.
Davis DuBose-Marler, a senior screenwriting major, will be traveling home with her roommate “Shopie” to see her family in San Francisco.
But not her usual route. Like others, DuBose-Marler plans to travel by car. “I’d definitely be flying home if it wasn’t for the pandemic,” DuBose-Marler said.
Although she hasn’t had a hard time adapting academically, it has been a big social adjustment. Which, she says, makes Spring Break special: A chance to see family and a much-needed change of scenery.
Another Chapman student traveling north to San Francisco this spring break is Tatiana Douaihy, a sophomore, double major in Strategic and corporate communication and English. Douaihy is most looking forward to exploring more of Northern California with her roommates.
“I honestly don’t think I would have ever done a road trip in my life if it wasn’t the only option,” Douaihy said. “ I just can’t sit in my apartment anymore and flying isn’t worth it since we’re exposing ourselves to Covid in the airport and on the plane.”
Joy Joukhadar, a sophomore triple major in political science, English, and sociology, plans to travel to see her boyfriend Erik Mercado at Arizona State University in ASU in Tempe, Arizona.
Said Joukhadar: “I feel comfortable going because my boyfriend’s roommates have been vaccinated, and both my parents received their second shot as well. So I’m still nervous beyond belief, but I feel comfortable knowing no loved one would be harmed if I got it.”
Joukhadar is excited to have a chance to finally be able to breathe. For her, this semester’s felt like the craziest game of catch up and she doesn’t think she ever needed a break so badly. She plans to spend time with her boyfriend by binging on “The Bachelor” and watching other movies. She would like to maybe go on a hike or go to a park but she doesn’t have antibodies and has only received one dose of the vaccine, so they plan on still playing it safe.
“I’m so exhausted from all work and stress of this semester, so I had the option of doing a fun vacation or major event I wouldn’t want to. I just wanna relax,” Joukhadar said.
And after spring break: It’s back to actual classes for the first time in a year — at least hybrid style classes until the pandemic ends.