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Students plan for Spring Break

Irena Zajickova | Thursday, March 4, 2010

 Spring Break holds different meanings for different Notre Dame students. Some view it as an opportunity to jet off to tropical locales, while others use it to participate in service projects — and some simply jump at the chance to return home for a week of relaxation after midterms.

For senior Michelle Hackner, Spring Break is a chance to spend some quality time with her friends before the real world sends them all to different places. 
Hackner and 10 of her friends are renting two condos in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico for the week. She said she has been looking forward to the trip since they planned it before the beginning of winter break. 
“This is my last chance to really spend time with my friends before we’re all separated next year,” Hackner said. “I’m just really excited to get away from the stress of our last semester and just relax.”
Once she arrives in Puerto Rico, Hackner said her top priorities are unpacking, finding out where the beach and bars are, and buying plenty of Pop Tarts to eat for breakfast.
Senior Michelle Perone will join Hackner in Puerto Rico. She said she is also looking forward to spending time with her friends, as well as for the chance to spend time on the beach swimming and tanning. 
“I’m really excited to just lay out and tan, but the weather forecast says it’s supposed to rain a lot next week,” Perone said. “I hope it doesn’t rain. If it does, I’ll be outraged.”
Some students are counting on a more low-key spring break than Hackner and Perone are sure to have. 
Junior George Pinchok is going home to Philadelphia after classes end tomorrow, but he plans on returning to Notre Dame early so he can take advantage of the relative quiet on campus to get a head start on his class work.
“I’m coming back here early to have some time to myself,” Pinchok said. “I’m excited to be back early because then I’ll have motivation from being home and I’ll use the time wisely.”
Freshman Patty Walsh will also be returning home for Spring Break.
“I’m going back home to Chicago,” Walsh said. “I’m going to see some friends and get a lot of sleep. That’s basically all I’ve got planned right now.”
Sophomore James Baffa’s Spring Break will likely not be as low-key as Walsh’s or Pinchok’s. He will be traveling to Tennessee with the men’s crew team.
“It’s a training trip so we’ll just go there and practice two or three times a day, every day,” Baffa said.
Other students plan on immersing themselves in service over the weeklong break. 
Junior Katie Halloran will be participating in Notre Dame’s Appalachia Program and traveling to West Virginia to work at Community Development Outreach Ministries (CDOM) in West Virginia.
Halloran said she has wanted to sign up for Appalachia since freshman year, but had never gotten the chance to do so before.
“I’ve always seen the little fliers around campus,” Halloran said. “It’s always attracted me and I’m running out of semesters so I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity.”
Although she will not be spending her week relaxing in the tropics or at home, Halloran said she does not regret choosing a more strenuous spring break activity.
“Service is part of my Christian identity,” Halloran said. “I’ll have plenty of chances to go to tropical places, but after I graduate, it won’t be as easy to find service opportunities as it is at Notre Dame.”