Communication saves vacations

Communication saves vacations

Sadhana Sarma, Design Editor

My mother’s mouth fell agape as I told her I couldn’t go to my sister’s wedding reception across the country. It never crossed her mind that my last day of school was on the very day she had booked our flight for Atlanta. Luckily, I didn’t miss out on anything — school or the wedding; I simply joined my family a day later. But similar situations happen all the time. Living with my parents, the king and queen of spontaneous trip planning, I often find myself explaining that I still have obligations over break for my extracurricular activities. After many years of these conversations, I have finally learned one sure-fire way to communicate my agenda with my parents: email. If my mother were to receive one simple email about a DECA trip or a journalism workshop over break, she would never dare plan a trip at the same time.

Lynbrook organizations tend to hold events over winter and spring breaks. For example, DECA’s regional conference occurred from Jan. 4 to 6 this year, coinciding with winter break for the first time in many years. Winter and spring sports hold games and meets over break. When it comes to sports, the issue of getting PE credit by attending all events also factors in. As many extracurricular activities are more than just an opportunity to have fun, students are often left in a limbo, choosing between a family vacation or their dedication to an extracurricular activity.

When Key Club held its district convention on the first weekend of spring break 2018, I was eager to go and meet other students from across California, Nevada and Hawaii, all while learning leadership skills. I eagerly mentioned the event to my parents, thinking that their shared excitement meant that my plans were set in stone: from April 13 to 15, I would be dressed in my best business formal attire at a large convention center in Reno.

Months passed, and as I began to set my flight plans for the trip, my mother asked me, “You’re going out of town?” I was used to this conversation. I would remind her about the trip I had mentioned months before, and she would again agree to let me go. Except this time, she didn’t; she told me that I couldn’t go on a Key Club trip when our family was going on a trip to Cancún. Now, I know that it is largely my fault for not formally informing my parents about such a large trip, but hindsight is 20/20. Luckily again, everything worked out for me; it turned out that no plans had even been made for a trip to Cancún. In fact, the idea of a spring break vacation to Mexico had just been planted in my mother’s mind that morning.

As the preparations for that same Key Club convention ensue this year, I am making sure that my Key Club adviser CC’s my parents in all correspondences about trip planning months in advance. Every time my mother receives an email from my adviser, she barges into my room to ask if I’d like the email to be forwarded to me — of course, I’ve already received the same email, but she doesn’t need to know that. I’m just happy that she is well aware of my trip and eager to help me prepare for it, and it’s all thanks to email.

While my case may be an extreme one, the sentiment is still the same: correspondence with parents, rather than just students, goes a long way in planning for events over break. Organizations on campus should reach out to parents well ahead of time to prevent any conflicts during breaks. It is important to recognize that school-affiliated events are valuable, but people may not always remember them in the grand scheme of “break,” as they can get easily distracted by potential vacations.

Breaks are such a promising time, full of fun and relaxation, but some of my best breaks have been chock full of extracurricular activities, like Key Club and the Epic. It would be a shame if I missed out on such opportunities just because an email arrived in my mom’s inbox a little too late.