I have always been a huge fan of the underdog: Rocky, Rudy, the 1980 US Men’s Olympic hockey team, etc. An underdog’s story tends to strike deep in the hearts of the masses. Despite all odds, the underdog overcomes and basks in his or her unexpected glory.  Where am I going with this? Good question.

At SMU we have a Fall Break, which, in most students’ minds, will forever live in the shadows of Spring Break. For two days, a Monday and Tuesday in October, you get to take a break from school and your responsibilities.

For some, this means going home to visit friends or family. For others, this may mean extra sleep in the Residential Commons or even going down to Austin City Limits for a few days of live music. For my friends and me, this meant spontaneously driving 18 hours through the night to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Five students with five days to explore pile in a car to travel cross country on Thursday night (because no class on Friday in the Cox School of Business, which is the best thing ever).  

To prep for our trip, we went to SMU’s Outdoor Adventure office in the Dedman Rec Center and rented all the gear we needed for next to nothing (I’m fairly sure it was a dollar a day for a sleeping bag).  From almost falling into the Grand Canyon, watching a friend try to eat a 72oz steak in an hour, sleeping in the car, and seeing the beauty of the world around us, this trip was one of the best trips of my life, and it was all because of SMU’s Fall Break.  

While you don’t have to drive 18 hours away from Dallas, these two days coupled with a weekend open up the opportunity for you to get out of the ordinary with friends. This is why Fall Break will always have a special place in my heart.

Cameron Farr