NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

My spring break is not like the movies

Community college experience is different than those at private schools

As my time at Northern Essex community college comes to an end this year, I find myself reflecting on the differences and benefits between my attending a private institution and coming to a local community college. With the week of spring break having passed by reently, students were preparing for a well deserved time away from campus. It had been about seven weeks since Northern Essex Community College’s last school-wide break for the Holidays back in December of 2018. NECC’s breaks are a far cry from that of private institutions. In my experience from boarding school to attending Susquehanna University, the amount of people who ditch town is higher than that of a community college. Well, obviously this is due to the fact that most students go to school out of state when they attend private institutions, myself included.

At my last University, the class and wage differences came to the forefront once I found that others were planning trips to Cancun, Mexico with their families and friends. As I struggled to afford gas for my 7 hour drive home every small break I had, I would remember how this was my only option to have a place to rest my head. The only way students could stay on campus was if they paid a daily fee of $100. This was unfortunate for the broke college kids relying on scholarships to graduate. The only students who could afford to stay on campus were the people who booked their flights out of the country for an actual vacation.

Having a break close to home means you can take time for you to catch up on whatever it is you need, whether it be sleep, work, family time, or a small trip out of town. Northern Essex students are more likely to do one of the following due to the convenience of minor change in daily routines. Faith Barrett, current student at NECC, planned on “relaxing with family and friends” since she doesn’t get to see them much during the semester.

For many NECC students, spring break does not equal a vacation away from home. Instead it means continuing the same work schedule or picking up more hours. Journalism major, David Greene’s plans for spring break were “to pick up more hours at both of [his] jobs.” He hoped to practice and play his hobbies with friends, which includes skateboarding, photography, and music. Larry Coleman, student at NECC, planned to catch up on sleep and picked up more hours since he works at an Irish Pub and St. Patrick’s day was coming around.

At places like those private Universities, Spring break represents itself the way it is depicted in the movies: Renting a Miami beach house, drinking a lot of alcohol, and eating delicious food for a week straight. But, for us local adults, it’s a small break from the school work, and a step forward in normalcy.

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