As I write this, I am sitting on the amazing and beautifully warm beaches of St. Petersburg, Florida! After not seeing the sun for a long four months, this beach getaway is a much needed vacation. Finally, a week of sun, sand and no responsibilities. Everyone recognizes the importance of a vacation, but no one actually takes the time to say thank you. So, here's to you vacation, and thanks for all that you do!

Thank you for giving me a break away from my responsibilities and duties. This week has been the most amazing time simply because I could just throw all of my worries into the ocean. Any time free of responsibilities, especially as a college student, is a glorious thing.

Thank you for this change of scenery. Although I will never be free from all of my work, at least now I can do homework on the beach instead of in my room. Even paper writing and conference calls seem better when you are under an umbrella in 80 degree weather!

Thank you for the time that you give me with my family. Being away at college is hard since it is so far from home. So I appreciate every opportunity that I have to spend with them. Even though being home is nice, there are still the stresses that come with home, such as cleaning, and other chores. So it is nice to get away for a little bit with my family to just relax and enjoy each other.

Thank you for giving me a new perspective. It is easy to get caught up in our everyday life with its responsibilities and commitments. Even so much so that we forget about taking a step back and just breathing. Before spring break, I was going nonstop at school. I had overbooked myself and all of my professors expected midterm papers to be done. Those last two weeks were the longest, most stressful weeks of the year so far. When that Friday came, and I was able to load my fish in my car with my best friend and drive home, I could actually feel the stress going away. Sometimes all we need is some time away from our work where we can sit on a beach, soak in the sun, where the only worry is what the next drink will be.

Thank you for the amazing experiences that will last a lifetime. Even the little things, such as finding a little dive to eat lunch, or going hunting for shells on the beach every night are the memories that will stay with us for our lives. When life gets stressful, we will always have our own personal paradise in our minds to escape to. Those sunsets by the ocean, and ice cream every night with your best friend. These will be the “good old days” that we tell our grandchildren about. How we boated next to dolphins, and ate our weight in crab. Or how we went on our first plane ride, and traveled to a state that we have never been to before. All of these memories, the big and the small are going to stay with us for the rest of our lives.