Nicole Pomarico
Updated May 18, 2020 @ 4:22 pm
spring break
Credit: Getty Images

After you finish college and start adulting for real, there’s a huge adjustment period that a lot of people don’t talk about. You have to get into a different routine, you have to keep paying bills — because somehow, somebody somewhere always wants money from you — and, sadly, there’s no such thing as school breaks anymore. In the adult world, you have to watch all your younger friends go on spring break without you, and it sucks. But don’t worry — there’s a way to combat that FOMO you’re probably dealing with around this time of year.

Even if you didn’t go to the beach or on vacation during your spring break every year, it’s still hard to adapt to the idea that the adult world keeps moving while tons of people actually get a break from real life for a week or two.

If you’re feeling that way about spring break this year, you’re not the only one.

Caitlin Smith, who graduated last year, not only has to cope without a spring break this year, but she also has to watch her fiancé, a college professor, stay on that schedule we all love and miss, which she says is “brutal.” No fair!

The answer to that question: Someone who definitely doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Kelsey R., who just survived undergrad plus a year of grad school, has found a little bit of solace in the fact that adult life means there’s no homework, so even without spring break, she can still find a way to relax.

“My breaks are different now because I don’t have homework or anything to study for, so I don’t have that lingering ‘Oh my god what am I forgetting, I have a test when I come back’ feeling,” she told us. “I think I can relax more without feeling like there’s something I should be doing instead of relaxing.”

“I usually go get a massage to escape reality, or plan small weekend trips with my husband [now that I no longer have spring break],” another recent grad, Allie Tran, says. “I just miss having a random week off and not having to adult and waking up with no hangover.”

Fortunately, like Allie said, there are a lot of constructive ways to give your brain a break, even if you can’t go anywhere or get time off from work. Leigh-Ann Ahrenberg, a school counselor in Wilmington, North Carolina, offered up a few tips for those of us who are looking for an escape route when spring break fever rolls around. She said:

Spring break might be gone forever, but that doesn’t mean all the fun has been sucked out of your adult life. Even amidst all of those responsibilities and bills, you can find ways to relax. We promise, adulting isn’t all bad!