YES! Weekly’s Ten Best destinations of college students

by Meredith Veto

Brandy LaGrone, NC A&T University

Brandy and two friends all peeked out of one dorm window, resting their elbows on the windowsill and yelling across the lawn to friends returning from break. Brandy went up to Virginia Beach, enjoying the lovely weather and lively party scene. She said a lot of A&T students went to Myrtle Beach instead. And the friend to her right? ‘“I went home and went to sleep,’” said a satisfied Lakeyshia Foust from Mebane.

Joel Streich, UNCG

Joel lived the ultimate spring break experience in Panama City, Fla. complete with an epic road trip south, parties on the beach and celebrity sightings. MTV’s cousin network mtvU set up shop for about a month in Panama City. Joel and his crew saw Matchbook Romance and Lil’ Wayne perform on the main stage. ‘“A friend of mine got to touch LL Cool J’s hand,’” said Joel. ‘“She was excited about that.’”

Liz Maillie, Guilford College

Liz and twenty other Bonner Scholars flew into Managua, Nicaragua last Friday. Unlike most kids heading south of the border, Liz and the Guilford group swapped lazy days sunbathing on the beach for a more lofty endeavor: learning about CAFTA and cooperative farming. They spent the first few days listening to the US and Nicaraguan sides of the trade agreement discussion then visited a coffee farm in the mountains of Mataglata and learned to make compost and trim coffee plants. ‘“It was intense, long, amazing’… all those things that a big group trip is,’” said an exhausted Liz on return.

Daryl Hardy, Greensboro College

Not everyone made it to the beach for Spring break. Some students headed back home ‘— Daryl spent the week in Nightdale, NC. What was he doing? ‘“I worked and I attended a funeral,’” Daryl said with an expression of relief to be back at school. Back in Nightdale Daryl works as a loader for Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Kristin Turner, Greensboro College

Kristin didn’t have much of a vacation either. She returned home to Siler City and made a few bucks working at Shoe Show, now pleased to be back in Greensboro. ‘“As a matter of fact,’” Kristin said, ‘“I’m going to see if I can stay here this summer.’” The ambitious student has her mind set on a higher goal: getting a job at the US Attorney General’s office.

Kristen Durham, Greensboro College

Making her way back to her dorm dressed for the springtime clime, Kristen, a freshman, reflected on her relaxing break back home in Chapel Hill. She spent time with hometown friends hanging out and comparing notes about her second semester away at college. ‘“It was awesome to see everyone and see how the first part of college is going,’” Kristen said with a sunny smile.

Owen Morrison, Guilford College

Owen, a folk and bluegrass guitarist already famous on Guilford’s campus, took advantage of the spring holiday to spread his music up north. He went up to Massachusetts and Vermont to play for four contra dances. ‘“I do it a lot,’” the talented musician said. ‘“I’ve got a big tour lined up in June playing with some Guilford grads.’”

Georgia Kennedy, UNCG

Georgia and 20 other university students and faculty members spent their spring break gutting houses in New Orleans. ‘“We worked on removing the entire contents of the house ‘— furniture, clothing, dishes, down to the sheet rock and frame.’” Georgia had never visited the city before and instantly fell in love with it. But she was surprised at the extent of the damage: ‘“It looked like it hadn’t been touched,’” Georgia recalled. ‘“Like the hurricane hit a week ago.’”

Heather Wunner, Guilford College

Heather, a music major, spent her break singing with a group of 35 Guilford students for a choir tour in Washington, DC. They sang at the United Methodist Church that Bill Clinton attended, at a Friends meeting in DC and at a Friends school in Sandy Springs, Md.

Ryan Brown, NC A&T University

Dayton, Ohio isn’t known for its sandy shores, but Ryan found his hometown just as relaxing. ‘“I just chilled with family and friends,’” Ryan said as he carried a load of laundry back to his dorm room, greeting friends along the way as they emerged from the parking lot with similar loads.