Mid-semester break, traditionally included with the Easter holiday, arrived earlier in the spring 2014 semester due to recent changes in APU's academic schedule. The break took place March 10-14, allowing students to pause before heading in to the second half of the semester. Students will receive another short break over the Easter holiday weekend, from Good Friday on April 18 to the following Monday at 1 p.m. when classes resume.
While students were thrilled about taking a break from classes earlier in the semester, there was a bittersweet feeling for some who will be unable to fly home for the extended Easter weekend due to the change in scheduling.
"I'm used to spending a week at home with my family for vacation and Easter combined, but I can't afford to fly home twice. No matter what, it is nice to have a break and I'm excited to spend some time with local friends, but it would be nice to see my family that weekend too," said Kellie Hartford '16, resident of Bellevue, Washington.
Hartford spent her mid-semester break at home visiting family, hiking her way through the Pacific Northwest with her parents. She looks forward to what her time at APU over Easter weekend will hold.
For those like Hartford who will spend the holiday weekend on campus, there is a great service opportunity to take part in through APU. Mexico Outreach trips provided an opportunity for students to serve over the mid-semester break, and will also take place over Easter weekend. The March 8-13 trip included more than 350 students who made up the 30 teams. At approximately $300, Mexico trips are a great way to serve during the time off. The next outreach trip takes place April 19-25.
“Working for Mexico Outreach has allowed me to help students find the same passion I have for Mexico. This is no ordinary outreach and I am thankful that students sacrifice their time over break to allow God to work in powerful ways through them,” said Jordan Rice ’16, Mexico Outreach student ministry coordinator for Mexican relations.
Some students used the break as a time to relax at home and connect with family and friends. South Orange County resident Connor Rozean '17 spent the week at home visiting with his older brother who was also home from college, reconnecting with high school friends, and catching up with his parents.
"I'm thankful that I live close to home. I stay on campus over the weekends, so when I do get to go home, I'm glad the travel time is minimal. Plus, I get to spend time with my brother and parents whom I miss dearly while I'm away," Rozean said.
Other students with adventurous spirits utilized the mid-semester break as a time to travel and explore. Bonnie Brazell '16 and a small group of students visited Utah's Zion National Park for four days of camping, hiking, and strengthening friendships.
"I wanted to spend my time off of school camping in Zion because I only have a few years left to go on fun adventures whenever I want. I don't want to waste a perfectly good week just sitting at home watching reruns of Gilmore Girls when I could be out exploring with friends," Brazell said.
No matter what the break had in store for them, students were able to make the most of their time off and return refreshed.