The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

Unplug. Enjoy your vacation.

As I scrolled through my Instagram feed the February of freshman year, something snagged my attention.

Spring break trips.

Dressed up vibrantly, students posed for pictures tagged in locations from Mexico to California to sometimes even in Europe. Smiles were plastered across faces on beaches, cafes and bustling city streets. 

Staring in shock at the sheer amount of people posting their far away vacations, I couldn’t help but think about how this was nothing compared to Waverly, the school district I attended for the majority of my life. 

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There, out of state, let alone overseas trips, were unheard of. Everyone pretty much stayed at home or took a quick day trip to somewhere in Michigan. Just maybe you heard of someone headed down to Florida or Texas, but that was rare in itself.

Here, my peers would casually mention where they were headed for break, nonchalant about going somewhere like Punta Cana. Later, I was sure to see their posts pop up on my feed. 

By freshman year, I had developed my own standard of what spring break was “supposed” to look like from being at Waverly. But after arriving at ELHS, this standard was completely thrown for a loop.

Being someone who has been both out of state and at home for breaks, I couldn’t help but wonder, what are the true intentions behind spring break? 

As we become more and more involved in the world of social media, we’re beginning to lose touch with taking time to live in the moment and truly enjoying the vacation itself. 

I’m guilty of this myself.

Just this past break, my family and I piled into our car and drove eight hours to visit the Smokey Mountains for our vacation. While in this breathtaking place, I found myself thinking what spots would be perfect to take photos for my page. Instead of losing myself in the scenery for just a couple more minutes, I was focused on my social media presence.

Soon enough, the pictures were posted on my primary profile.

Other students, like Kathryn Palsrok (11), found herself in a similar situation, spending hours getting ready to take photos for her main. 

For students at home during their break, seeing posts like these may create a sense of desire or longing to be a part of these trips that are made out to be perfect. For some, it’s frustrating to be at home while others are lounging on beaches, showing off a newly earned tan. 

While this is a perk, going away always comes with its own troubles. Whether it’s facing bad weather, canceled excursions or stresses with transportation, spring break trips aren’t as glamorous as they’re made out to be. 

Sometimes, pictures of these realities are found on spam accounts, often limited to only close friends and acquaintances. 

As social media users, we prefer these “unsatisfactory” photos to be seen only by those we limit it to, while our perfect images are posted for all to see.

I suggest that we turn this into a blend.

Put some ridiculous photos on your main posts, mixed in with pictures that you feel good in. Not only will it come across as more real, you may be able to make further connections with those who experienced similar situations.

Even better, we could set our cameras down for the trip and take the time to make memories we’ll never forget. Let’s decide to live in the moment more than in the 3” by 3” dimensions of Instagram images. When you get back, have conversations with those around you about what you loved about your trip, instead of them finding out all that happened through the tapping of your fingers on a phone. 

Spring break should be a time to cherish the memories made with friends and families in locations you love. When it all comes down to it, we don’t have very many of these breaks left. As our years in high school dwindle, take extra care in spending what time you have with those around you, whether it’s right here in East Lansing or on the sandy coasts of California. 

 

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About the Contributor
Belle Potter
Belle Potter, Staff Writer
Belle Potter is in the class of 2026 and is a staff writer for Portrait.  This is her first year on staff as a sophomore. Belle's favorite thing about journalism is being able to accurately share and tell the unique stories of all the students and staff she has the pleasure of speaking to here at ELHS.   When she's not in the newsroom, Belle enjoys swimming, makes jewelry, drawing, watching movies, and hanging out with her friends.

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