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Jeanie Groh column: Spring break for those who have to stay

For most college students, spring break means beach trips, service trips or simply a week of rest and relaxation with friends at home.

Catawba College did a survey of its students asking them what they had planned for their spring break this week.

The most popular place to spend spring break, the survey found, was the beach, closely followed by home. New York City, Greece, Disney World, San Diego, the Bahamas, Key West, Panama City and Cancun also made the list of places Catawba students will visit.

Classes aren’t the only things canceled during spring break. College campuses all but shut down during the week of vacation, greatly limiting dining options and activities.

But not all students get to go home or on an elaborate trip.

Some, including international students, athletes and student teachers, are tied to their campus while their peers scatter across the world. While these students don’t make it home, they try to make the best of their spring break right here in Rowan County.

Gina Gerone is a junior athletic training major from New York who also plays second base for the Catawba softball team.

Spring break falls in the middle of softball season, so a weeklong vacation isn’t an option for Catawba’s softball team. They have six games scheduled over spring break, all of which are out of town. On the days when they’re not competing, the girls have practice.

“There’s always a small part that wishes I could go home,” she said.

But Gerone said all the traveling and practices don’t necessarily put a damper on her spring break.

When the softball team isn’t practicing or playing, chances are, you’ll find them together.

“We stick together as a team,” Gerone said, adding that they spend a lot of time hanging out, watching the baseball team play, shopping and going to eat as a group.

She also said they’re using the week to catch up on much-needed sleep.

Patrick Moore’s story is a little bit different.

The senior music performance major is from Concord – a mere 30 minutes away, but Catawba offers something that home sweet home does not.

“Being a music performance major, I need access to practice rooms,” he said, adding that he has a recital coming up in a few weeks.

When he isn’t practicing, Moore said, he’s spent his time with friends who stayed in the area.

“I have a lot of commuter friends,” he said. “We’re just going to hang out.”

Staying at Catawba isn’t necessarily boring. He and his friends have had a movie night and played volleyball together.

“Going home isn’t a big deal for me,” he said, adding that he’ll still get to see his family, despite staying in Salisbury. He typically sees his mom once or twice a week.

Staying at school during spring break isn’t a death sentence, it just requires students to find creative ways to keep themselves occupied – not the least of which would be catching up on some sleep.

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