Bethel College students are getting ready to start spring break when classes end on Friday, Feb 28, but they will be some of the only students in the area on break this early. Despite break not coming at the same time as some major universities, students are still ready for some time off from classes. “I’m disappointed that it doesn’t match up with the spring break from other colleges,” said Bethel senior Mallory Gilkey.“But it’s nice to have a week off in the middle of the semester.” Bethel’s spring break does indeed split the semester in two, and Monday, March 3 will mark the first full day off from classes for students since the beginning of the semester, which began on January 9. The only other major break will be April 17 and 18 for Easter before classes end on April 25. Final examinations will wrap up on May 1. Senior Kelsi Suddarth viewed the timing of spring break as appropriate given the early end to Bethel’s semester. “It does seem early,” but the timing makes sense since our school year is over at the end of April,” said Suddarth. In comparison, both Indiana University (IU) and Purdue University locations will have spring break the week of March 17-24, two weeks after Bethel’s spring break. IU and Purdue’s final exams are only a week after Bethel’s; however, neither IU nor Purdue provide an Easter break within their academic calendars. The University of Notre Dame’s spring break is also later than Bethel’s. It falls a week after Bethel’s, during the week of March 10-17. Suddarth said that she has friends at universities with spring breaks that are at different times than Bethel’s, but that it doesn’t affect her ability to see them. “Most of my friends are going on their own trips,” said Suddarth. “They wouldn't be coming back to this area anyway.” While Suddarth’s plans are unaffected, Gilkey remarked how the timing of Bethel’s spring break can interfere with family vacation plans. “Due to Bethel's spring break, it is impossible to make family vacation plans because Bethel has picked a week that all other schools still have class,” said Gilkey. Although major universities have spring breaks later in the month of March, Bethel students will not be completely alone during their week off. Students from Grace College in nearby Winona Lake, Ind. as well as students from athletic rival Indiana Wesleyan have spring break next week as well. If Bethel students aren’t looking to spend spring break with Grace and IWU students, then maybe they will be able to cash in on some travel deals. As Suddarth explained, “the timing is good for deals on all-inclusive resorts and cruises. I know a lot of students who were able to get great deals since this isn't exactly ‘spring break season’ yet.” Suddarth is currently “looking into a last minute trip to Texas with some friends,” while other students will be visiting home. “I will be hanging out with friends and family,” said Gilkey, from Sandwich, Ill. “I also have plans to shadow my sister at the hospital and to visit my other sister in Ohio for a few days.” Gilkey and many other students from the Midwest headed home are in for a chilly spring break. According to the Weather Channel, temperature highs for Sandwich, Ill. will be in the teens for most of next week, which is similar to projected highs for Mishawaka. There’s little wonder as to why Florida is a prime spring break destination. Temperatures in Miami, Fla. next week will be in the low 80s. No matter what the temperature is where Bethel students are headed, next week should provide some much needed time off from classes before seniors like Gilkey and Suddarth get ready to finish out their last semester at Bethel, and if nothing else, the break will let students know that spring is near.