Last week, all kinds of students from Minnesota State University, Mankato celebrated as spring break had finally arrived, and they got to have some free time without the stressors of school in the way. Many students had the opportunity to travel on an airplane, take a road trip, or head back to their home to visit their families.
Many students hopped on a flight to a tropical location to get out of the Minnesota cold and relax. Sophomore Alexis Collins was able to travel to South Padre Texas over the break and explained that while she was able to travel, her and her group were still taking precautions.
“We really just hung out at the beach and then went to eat, so it wasn’t too different from being home in Minnesota. We wore our masks everywhere and tried not to make contact with other people. I was more comfortable taking the flight there because I sat by the people I travelled with and didn’t have contact with anyone else.”
Many students who travelled by plane had a similar experience as Collins. Sophomore Jack Wheeler traveled to Miami Beach.
“One of my favorite things was when we went to the Wynwood Walls Area in Miami, which is basically a neighborhood and community with a bunch of street art and vendors on the side of the street,” Wheeler said. “It was cool to be able to go there and experience this community and take photos.”
In order to protect his family and the people he travelled with Wheeler took many precautions. “I wore two masks while travelling through the airport, washed my hands regularly, stayed away from large crowds, and did not visit anyone when I got home. I went back to my apartment and got my COVID-19 test right away.”
Sophomore Megan Miland had a similar experience in taking multiple precautions to help protect herself and others.
“I traveled to Fort Lauderdale in Florida. On vacation we walked around the town, went to the beach, and went out to eat,” she said. “It was different with COVID-19 in the sense that we wore masks the whole time, except when we were outdoors and not around people.”
She added, “I am not vaccinated, but I was still comfortable because we made sure to not go anywhere that was too busy with other spring breakers.”
While some decided to fly to their destinations, others decided to take a road trip to their locations. Senior Hope Wickert got the opportunity to travel to Mt. Rushmore with two of her friends over the week-long break.
“Since we drove to our locations we were able to visit many different places along the way. We went to Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills, Glacier Gorge, the Rocky Mountains, and visited my friend’s grandparents on our way back. To take precautions we wore our masks inside, but since we were doing a lot of hiking we didn’t have to worry much about social distancing. All of us are vaccinated, so this made me feel a lot more comfortable with traveling,” Wickert explained.
To keep the travelling to a minimum others did a road trip within Minnesota. Freshman Saumya Gautam travelled with her friends up to the Twin Cities, explored downtown Mankato, and then ended with a trip to the Marshall area. During their road trip, “We did community service work, scavenger hunting, shopping, went to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, played global trivia, had a cultural dinner with all the international students, and played many games like giant Uno and Jenga,” said Gautam.
Some students took the break to go home and spend time with their families. Sophomore Natalie Horn said, “I went home to Kasson, where I spent time with my family and updated my childhood bedroom. This was a safe option for me to travel and I still made sure to wear my mask and wash my hands while there.”
As students start traveling back to campus it’s important to remember to continue social distancing and wearing a mask. Getting tested for COVID-19 is also a great way to ensure safety as we transition back into school.