Winter Break Adventures

Billy Ferguson/Fourth Estate

Check out what Mason students have planned for the long-awaited break


After a long semester filled with papers, assignments and Blackboard discussion posts, a long-awaited  winter break is nearly here for Mason’s hard-working students. They are not only gearing up for the holiday season, but are also finding ways to achieve that “winter getaway” experience.

Junior communication major Raven Royal is going out of the country over this winter break. “[My friends and I] are taking a girls trip to Cancún,” Royal said. “We plan to go zip-lining, dinner cruising, ATV riding and jet-skiing.”

As part of their girls trip, Royal said she had to book a flight and find housing. She recommends searching for flights on Tuesday evenings, which she says are generally the cheapest. “I also got a [flight] discount through my job, and was able to buy tickets that way,” Royal said.

Hotels do not always have to be the only option. Royal recommends perusing through Airbnb, as “they can be much more cost-effective,” she said.

Royal saved up some dollars for this big excursion, much like another junior communication major Keirsten Robinson. For this upcoming winter break, Robinson said, “I’m going home to Maine to visit my family and celebrate the holidays, then I’m spending 16 days in London for the Global Public Relations program with Mason’s Global Education Office.”

Billy Ferguson/Fourth Estate

Robinson is diving into experiential learning overseas by studying abroad during the break. Since she’s invested a lot of hard-earned money to this experience, Robinson said, “I think that budgeting is important no matter what you’re doing for winter break.”

Not all students have that many dollars to shell out. Senior government and international politics major Kimberly Jaramillo is doing a mix of things for break to accommodate her budget. She will be spending the holidays visiting New York City while also finding time to binge-watch “Game of Thrones” before the new season starts in 2019.

“I [also] suggest taking advantage of some free admission events in the D.C. area, like the ZooLights at the National Zoo,” Jaramillo said. The ZooLights showcase is open to the general public in the evenings from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The light display is running from Nov. 23 to Jan. 1, with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

The holiday season glows up the D.C. area, with a cozy fire-pit at District Wharf and stringed lights hung up at CityCenterDC downtown.

For sophomore communication major Cruz Sanchez, his version of a getaway includes an active adventure.

Sanchez is a part of the Mason Running Club and enjoys the activity. “This winter break I’m going to Walt Disney World [in Florida] to run the Dopey Challenge,” Sanchez said. “It consists of running a 5K, 10K, half-marathon and full marathon back-to-back, four days in a row.”

Sanchez is also looking forward to getting on rides during the challenge. “You can take a break from running and jump on the rides as you run through all four parks,” he said.

Whether your plans for winter break are to run races like Sanchez, go abroad like Robinson and Royal or tune into your favorite TV program like Jaramillo, a few weeks away from school is the perfect time to focus on yourself and seek your own adventures.