Spring break: Should you stay or should you go?

Some students will be traveling to different touristy parts of the U.S.

Spending every weekend at college is great.

It’s the perfect three-day vacation (if you count Fridays) when one can catch up on the schoolwork that has been building up in one long procrastinated to-do list. Others prefer to participate in club activities, university-funded events, attend “social gatherings” (as the kids call it nowadays) or take a trip homeward for the weekend.

Some students do not have the opportunity to go home on weekends; they are too swamped with schoolwork or jobs to take that break and visit the family, and more importantly, their pets. Sure, you can take a trip to Cancun or South Dakota (the Tropical Dakota), but why not save the money and give your parents a week of you not showering instead?

This is why spring break offers the perfect chance to take a stress-free week off, home, shoveling the brownies your mom made just for your imminent return (very different from the  brownies offered at “social gatherings”) and binge-watching “Making a Murder” on your sister’s Netflix account.

Going home for the week gives you the chance to unwind and destress from the responsibilities of school, and did we mention you can see your pets?

However, it’s also important that you are not going home every weekend, according to Michael Thompson, psychologist and author of “The Pressured Child” (Ballantine, 2004).

“I think it’s nice in a relentlessly competitive capitalistic culture we carve out more family time,” Thompson said, “but it disrupts the commitment to college. It can have a regressive effect.”

It is vital that you balance out your visits. Going home too much can make it harder for you to be your own person at IUP. And you may be forming an argument in your head right along the lines of “But, my parents love me and want to see me every chance they can.” Well, parents love their children unconditionally; that is the unspoken contract between parent and child that everyone knows. However, the fine print in that contract states that parents get angry when their children waste their money on gas every weekend just to visit their pets.

So if you have been going home every weekend since January, maybe stay here over spring break or dip into your younger brother’s college fund for a trip to Myrtle Beach.