Spring Break Round 2: Electric Boogaloo

April 4, 2018 in inQueery

 

Spring break has become a relatively foreign concept to me since I graduated in 2012. Even when I worked on campus for two years after matriculating, I didn’t get more than a weekend off – students were still milling around campus, and there was work to be done. However, I’m back to being a full-time student, and that means that I finally get a week off. School and work have always been intertwined with my mental health; my final spring semester at SFSU was plagued with my first manic episode, a lot of crying, and a lot of sleepless nights. For this reason, I’m incredibly excited for a real spring break, actual days off, and a trip to Los Angeles to reset my brain after a grueling half semester.

When I bought concert tickets for late March in Los Angeles back in November, I had no idea I’d be back in school – I was working a full-time gig in the Financial District in San Francisco. I left that job shortly thereafter and decided that it was time to start taking classes in subjects that really interested me. Immediately after leaving that job, the majority of my stress cleared up, and I felt ready to take on whatever the upcoming semester would throw at me. When I realized that this meant I would get a designated week off, I was thrilled; even more exciting was the thought of having a weekend getaway that led into spring break.

Getting out of town for a bit has always been my favorite way to clear my head. This was made increasingly difficult by my new job at a coffee shop where weekends feel mandatory (I’m the new guy, and that means I get the shifts that folks who have been there forever don’t want), and as much as I love my new job, I’m strangely looking forward to the long, boring drive down Interstate 5. A whole weekend of no homework, no classes, just me and the open road – well, until I get into L.A. traffic. The hustle and bustle of L.A. is very different from that of the East Bay, especially where I work in Alameda. But a weekend of no obligations aside from dancing my butt off at a concert, that’s the kind of hustle I look forward to.

My advice for taking a break this spring? Plan a weekend getaway. Look up an LGBTQ-owned coffee shop and visit. Look at flyers on the wall. Find an event you’ve never heard of and go. If you’re normally stressed out by the new and unknown, bring a friend. Check out the city’s LGBTQ cultural center if they have one! Go dancing if that’s your thing, make some new friends, and ask them what there is to do in town. My favorite thing to do when I go somewhere new is to find a local bookstore and check out the gender & sexuality section, and the zine section if they’ve got one – independent bookstores can be a great cultural thermometer!

In short, go explore, take a breath, and give yourself the break you deserve.

 

Maira is a Visiting Writer at inQueery, and you can check out some of their other work @longarmstapler on Twitter and @slppry.ppl on Instagram.