We are (only) a week back from break, so hopefully everyone’s stopped asking what you did during it. These questions can be genuine…or loaded and empty. They can also be opportunities for class privilege to shine strong. However, every year, a few student groups and Wes departments help facilitate some truly dope spring break trips that bring students from around campus together and get them out of central Connecticut for a few days. Doing spring break with a student group or academic department often lifts organizational (and sometimes financial) burdens off of individual students and also tends to be hella fulfilling and really fun.
So, we’ve reached out to a few groups who did cool shit over break and put together a roundup post of some cool Wes spring breaks. We apologize to any thesis writers who may have been here all break nibbling on a Twizzler in their thesis carrel every day, but we promise we’ll make it up to you. But for now, take a look at these folks’ fun times:
Kai Wes got together some impressive AF student entrepreneurs and helped coordinate a trip to Silicon Valley over break. They visited places like Google, Facebook, and other tech companies. Several students helped fund their expenses with GoFundMe campaigns that Kai Wes promoted on their Facebook page. Leah Cabrera ’17 went on the trip and had this to say:
The Silicon Valley trip exposed me to the reality of the tech scene, one where companies have learned to optimize their employees work ethic and figured out how to combine social and work. I am am still reflecting on all the visits and conversations which have me questioning my own goals towards my future. The tech world is one where you must visit to really understand how dynamic and unbelievable it is.
We spent four days there. Silicon Valley is known as one of the largest entrepreneurship centers in America. This is the place where young risk-takers put their innovative ideas, ideas that once started as a playful idea on a piece of paper, into reality. It’s a city full of coders, artist, and innovators shaping the future in tech.
Our trip consisted of many stops: Square, DevBootcamp, SpacedOut, Google HQ, Facebook HQ, Pinterest, Stripe, IDEO, and Twilio. Many of the facilities have adopted the ideas that most tech companies have been implementing. Their spaces are designed to intentionally promote collaboration among their employees, being very open and spacious. Each company provided their employees with unlimited meals (think S&C but 100x better), dedicated spaces to relax, gym memberships (or if you’re at Facebook and Google, gyms on campus), snack bars, vending machines with Apple products, massages/manipedis, laundry services, a game room, all free of charge. The employees also create their schedule. They’re absolutely flexible in how and when you work.
What really resonated with me though is the idea that anyone can go into tech. All of the alumni came from a broad range of majors including CSS, English, American Studies, and Sociology. Going to a liberal arts school teaches individuals how to learn quickly, adapt, communicate well with others, WRITE and think critically. If you are trying to get into it now, my recommendation is don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni and ask them about they’re experience and transition from Wesleyan into their work place. If you want to be a part of a fast paced, growing, constantly changing and thrilling environment then tech is the place to be!!!
Wesleyan’s Office of Religion and Sprituality organized an interfaith service trip that took 6 Wes students of multiple faiths to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to work with local not-for-profit organizations. The group worked with Catholic Charities’ Immigration and Refugee Services, working with 15 young refugee students from Syria, Nepal, South Sudan, and Somalia. They later visited and worked with the Brethren Housing Association, a group that provides housing and support services to homeless and low-income individuals and families. The trip was funded in part by a PCSE enrichment grant. Bethlehem Bekele ’19 had this to say about the trip:
In short, this trip has been the highlight of my experience so far at Wesleyan and has taught me so much in just a week. I have learned the value of giving back to community and the importance of sharing and caring. I also learned that by showing that we care, we bring relief and hope to the lives of others, which I think is the most rewarding action of all. Moreover, this interfaith service trip is a perfect example of how people from different religious backgrounds can passionately work together for a betterment of the society.
The Wesleyan chapter of ServeUp went to New Orleans over the break to assist in an annual collective effort to help rebuild and assist communities disproportionately affected by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The trip was also partially funded by crowdfunding efforts. Jejomar Erln Ysit ’19 reflected on the experience:
We woke up at the crack of dawn to get a serving of biscuits with gravy, mixed fruit salad, and buttery yellow eggs. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day. We happily consumed the Usdan-like dinners after a full day’s work.
But it was all worth it, because we were in New Orleans.
The Wesleyan ServeUP team spent the first week of Spring Break, in collaboration with the non-profit organization Rebuilding New Orleans, helping renovate Kathleen’s, a New Orleans native, home. We scrubbed the dirt off of exterior walls, primed them, and meticulously painted each crevice and corner. We replaced wire mosquito screens with new sets and awkwardly places ladders into uncomfortable angles, all the while, listening to Rihanna, Lauryn Hill, Maroon 5, Who Is Fancy, and Sia.
The trip was a great opportunity to learn more about New Orleans, its history, and its people from the direct experiences of its people. Although what we did experience and the few people we interacted with on New Orleans only represented a small fraction of all that makes up New Orleans, what we were able to get to know expanded our horizons on how we viewed New Orleans, challenged our preconceived notions about it, and called us to rethink how we see the New Orleans’ narrative.
In addition, the professor and students who attended the trip all bonded in ways that being on campus made difficult. We ate with one another, played endless amounts of Mafia, and talked about life. We spent hours next to each other painting walls and enjoyed quality time consuming our Po Boys at the French Quarters. We talked to people whom we may have never had the chance to interact with on campus.
In another realm of experience was the oft-talked-about Throw Culture trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The wonderful people over there at the coed ultimate frisbee team speak of fantasy, dreams, and sand between their toes every time they trek back to Connecticut from the Deep South. Apparently there were haircuts and hair dyings, a majestic man from another college with a nice butt who photobombed the group photo, and other tomfoolery. This is a trip better described in pictures courtesy of Jonas Powell ’18 so here you go:
Finally, we have our wonderful people over at Wes Tennis who went to Claremont, CA and had a MFin BLAST. Women’s tennis is currently ranked number 8, and the men’s team is ranked number 9 so we’re fab, basically. The reigning Division 3 singles NCAA champ Eudice Chong ’18 is fab too and is #killinit as affirmed recently by MRoth, who actually crashed their spring break trip. Helen Klass-Warch ’18 reflects:
Despite having Panera for more meals than I would like to admit, the tennis team’s spring break trip was by far our most successful and so much fun. Last year we managed to meet Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots in the Las Vegas airport, but the only famous person we came remotely in contact with was Lauren B (from this season’s Bachelor)’s sister… In a Panera. 10 days in California resulted in both teams with wins over top 10 teams, resulting in top 10 rankings for us, 1 trip to the beach along with two hours of attempted beach volleyball, and mild sunburns all around.
If you want to see how much fun these lovelies had, this YouTube video will do:
I wish I was still on break. Bye.