Mar 012010
Authors: Allison LeCain, College Avenue Magazine

Spring break— a time to sit back, relax and go on vacations. While some vacations can be just what the doctor ordered, others can lead to mishaps that develop hilarious stories for you to tell for the rest of your life.

CSU professor and Prelaw Advisor Blane Harding made the most out of one of his Spring Breaks, making it last for five-and-a-half years. Although you couldn’t tell it now, Harding didn’t like college when he started.

“I went to North Carolina State on a lacrosse scholarship but really hated school at that time,” he said. After skipping semester and returning, Harding ventured on his five-year Spring Break.

“I was from New York and all of my friends decided to attend college at various universities in New York,” he explained. “They were going to Daytona Beach for Spring Break and wanted to stop by North Carolina State to say hello. They talked me into skipping a week of class and going to Florida for Spring Break with them.”

After spending a week with his friends, Harding ultimately decided to stay in Daytona Beach, look for work and had his friends in North Carolina send him all of his stuff.

“I liked it so much I decided to stay,” Harding said. “I did not return to college for five-and-a-half years. I contacted the folks I knew back at NC State, my friends and roommates and let them know I wasn’t coming back.”

Although many people probably have contemplated staying in the Spring Break hot spots, other breaks involve great adventures that can sometimes turn out to end unexpectedly.

Freshman political science and journalism and technical communications double major Caitlin Still loves to go scuba diving with her family and they have been doing it for years. She and her family have advanced certifications in scuba diving and have traveled many places but found that none of that was any help when they went to Bonaire during Spring Break.

“Bonaire is an island off the coast of Venezuela and is part of the Netherlands Antilles,” Still said. “It has amazing shore diving, which means we get to walk into the water, paddle out a bit, and then we can go down to see amazing reefs.”

One day Still and her family decided to go out; it was a little bit windy but they trekked around the island and found a great location. After gearing up, Still spent about 20 minutes battling the increasingly rough surf.

“We finally submerged ourselves only to find about 5-foot visibility in an area known for its clarity,” she said. “The water below wasn’t as rough as the surface, but the current was so strong that it was like running a marathon and going nowhere.”

Still’s dive ended with her and family being “pushed around like rag dolls” when they resurfaced.

“My sister got her leg caught on an urchin, my dad looked like he’d been in a slasher movie from the coral, I’d gotten my knee wrenched under a rock, and my mom was stuck on her back from the weight of her tank that had flipped her like a turtle in the surf,” she said.

Still and her family made it through the beating and were able to laugh about it later, especially when “locals told us that it was ‘the worst weather we’ve ever seen.’”

“Painfully, we nursed our wounded limbs and pride with a few margaritas,” she said. “Needless to say, we always ask the locals first from now on.”

While some Spring Breaks involve sunny, beautiful weather — unlike Still’s — others can become more reminiscent of winter. Freshman psychology major Mandy Kieckhaben had one of these wintery experience during her break.

Usually Spring Break is about fun in the sun, but Kieckhaben and her neighbors got quite a surprise with many feet of snow. But, she explained, they definitely made the most of it.

“My neighborhood all came together in my backyard and had a humungous snowball fight,” Kieckhaben said. “Considering it was Spring Break, it was funny that there was about two feet of snow on the ground.”
“There were about 25 to 30 people all throwing snow around,” she said. “When we got tired we all went inside and lined up for hot chocolate.”

Spring Break can be about spending time with friends and family in the sun or snow, but sometimes the unusual can happen. And for most people, it’s about making the most of it.

“We built a snowman, making it legitimate, with carrot, buttons and all,” Kieckhaben said.

Allison LeCain is a reporter for College Avenue magazine and can be reached at

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