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When I was a student I took many conventional trips during the “Spring Break.” Most of which for me was simply just going home for the days when classes were suspended at the university. As a matter of fact, trips to places like Mexico and Florida for a short vacation never entered my mind. The reason being is that I did not have the money to take any kind of vacation and I just wanted to go home and relax.

Then again, I did have one very unconventional “Spring Break,” Since I was living in a one room efficiency apartment off campus during my last year of study at the university, I did not have to go home because of such a short vacation from classes, at a time when all of the university dorms were closed and meals were not served as part of the student housing contract.

Believe me, Champaign and Urbana, Illinois are quite an empty places without those 30,000+ students who hopped into trains, buses or planes and went home or to some other place. The campus bars, theaters and restaurants were almost empty. However, many people were in those kinds of places off campus, including me. Gone were the long lines of people waiting to see a movie or to dine within any restaurant, or to get falling down drunk in any bar.

On the other hand, now is the perfect time to do a little treasure hunting with the use of a metal detector. Believe it or not, a whole lot of things can be found on campus, like coins lost in parks, sports playing fields and other areas where grass grows. It is a chance also to get some fresh air and sunshine and see the wonders of nature. People do lose things in parks and such other places and those things are just waiting to be found. There is also a good chance that you could find such items of value that are worth as must as the cost of your education the following year.

Gone for a short while was the line of cars going to or leaving the campus on any other day when classes were in session, while some of the smartest people on Earth shared their knowledge with us. Like it or not, I loved the University of Illinois and I either loved and/or respected every person I knew. Yes, I knew many truly beautiful women, all of which went home during the time of “Spring Brake.”

Then again, not having to travel to classes gave me plenty of time to catch up and review the subjects that I was learning about that semester. For one whole week I could go to bed and actually sleep for more than 6 hours. Yes, I could even cook a huge breakfast for myself, as well as my other meals, without even leaving the comfort of my one room efficiency apartment. I did not have a TV, but I did have a radio and a tape recorder that played reel to reel tapes of my favorite music.

It was truly strange how that short vacation passed so quickly, and I did learn a whole lot more during that time. As a matter of fact, I made the honor roll for that last year of study. You see, I fell in love with learning during a time when it seemed that I had all of the time in the World to do so. It also allowed me to take a good look at myself and my future plans and realize how lucky I was to have such an opportunity to be something more than I was. It was a trip into my own mind in order to sort out many of the doubts about my future and how exactly I fit into the society.

I took a good look at where and who I was, without the pressure of the compliance with an otherwise truly busy schedule. Who doesn’t need a rest from those 18 hour days of constant work? I knew better who I was and I learned of a better way to finish my college education.

Yep, for most people that was truly unconventional. On the other hand, the conventional things like going to Mexico or Florida and getting sun-burned and falling down drunk really is not that smart. To simply forget about your life’s goals and come back to the same place and face the reality of your lack of achievement won’t make you a better person.