Tackling a shortened spring break

Cori Shalit, Arcade Editor

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Adelaide Basco | Art Director

As students at other universities plan spring break trips to Florida beaches or on tropical cruises, Tulane students are feeling left out. At least a week off for college spring break is a given – unless you go to school in New Orleans, where Mardi Gras takes priority over all else. This year, students must contend with a curveball: the unfortunate situation of having Mardi Gras and spring break overlap, hindering them from enjoying both the New Orleans festivities and a well-deserved vacation period from busy college life.

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is always 47 days before the Easter holiday. Easter is always the first Sunday following the full moon on or after March 21. This means that Mardi Gras can fall on any day between Feb. 3 and March 9. Every few years Mardi Gras attendees are faced with a late carnival season and, unfortunately for Tulane students, 2019 is one of those years.

Students who plan on staying for Mardi Gras are left with only a five-day break, March 6-10, before classes start up again. While this shortened spring break may seem too limited to plan a substantial trip or to warrant going home, it may be the perfect time to take advantage of Tulane’s unique location.

The most obvious option for how to spend these days is to stay right here in good ol’ New Orleans. Getting caught up in classes and extracurriculars can be easy, hindering students from making the most of their new home. There are countless museums to explore, sights to see and rooftop pools to enjoy. Even upperclassmen may have still not have found the time to enjoy a picnic in Audubon Park, visit the World War II museum, explore thrift shops on Magazine Street, visit Bourbon Street for a jazz concert or walk through the streets of the Garden District to sightsee the beautiful mansions.

Students in the mood for a little adventure still have hope, however, as Tulane offers rental car options. Shockingly, there is more to Louisiana than just New Orleans, and the rest of the state has so much to offer. Try a weekend trip to Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, which is only about an hour and a half outside of New Orleans. Besides historical sights and landmark tours, there are countless fun activities for college-aged students. For upperclassmen, Baton Rouge is chock-full of breweries, distilleries and daiquiri shops. Downtown, Third Street is filled with nightlife activities, boasting walking distance between the bars and clubs on the street. You won’t be bored when the sun’s out either. Baton Rouge boasts many art galleries, casinos and even the largest indoor rock climbing facility in Louisiana. If it’s a sunny day, check out the University Lakes at Louisiana State University. There, you can enjoy a variety of water activities such as renting a kayak or practicing sunset yoga on a paddle board.

Lafayette, although farther than Baton Rouge, is still under three hours away from campus. Known for its Creole and Cajun cultures, the southern Louisiana city is full of a history you can learn about at one of its countless museums or state parks. The Tabasco factory, a major tourist attraction, is located on Lafayette’s Avery Island. Oh, and make sure to check off a Cajun food tour from your bucket list if you end up in Lafayette this spring break.

For the super audacious, plan a trip to Pensacola, Florida or Gulf Shores, Alabama. These popular spring break destinations are only a short bus or ferry ride away.

All in all, Tulane students are lucky to be attending a university in New Orleans we have the luxury of celebrating the historic Mardi Gras festival in our college town. So, regardless of the length of your spring break or where you happen to end up, remember to make the most of it.