With this semester coming to a close and the prospects of next semester beginning, most seniors are realizing this is their last spring break in college.

I’m suddenly aware that out of the last three spring breaks of my collegiate career, the most exciting thing to happen to me was I discovered I was going to pass a semester of nursing school.

As we inch excruciatingly slowly toward graduation, I’m vigorously planning what will likely be the best spring break of my entire college experience.

Here are some options for you to plan a great spring break that won’t break the bank.

Everglades for ever cheap: APSU has a killer program that offers an alternative spring break and this year the Gov is hitting up the Everglades. You can sign up for a trip that explores the depths of swamps and delves into the delicate ecosystem of the Everglades.

This ten-day trip finishes with a visit to Biscayne National Park, which is known for its crystal clear waters and extensive coral reefs. Alexandra Howard, assistant director of Student Life and Leadership is your go-to-gal for this awesome trip and, with a sign up deadline of Wednesday, Jan. 26, you can save up the cash from your grandparents over Christmas break.

With an expense of a mere $60, you can have a spring break that will definitely top babysitting your snot-nosed second cousin. Quite possibly the biggest incentive for this trip is yours truly is signing up.

You know deep inside you’re excited about the possibility of spending your spring break surrounded by my hilarity and sweet affection.

Crafty camping: There’s nothing quite like the scream of a girl when she realizes she’s slept with a spider all night. I come to you with the hearty and whole-blooded American spring break of camping. Grab up some tents at Target or Walmart — you can even try renting some from your local Boy Scout troop and head to the hills for a week of camping.

One suggestion: Chester Frost Park in Chattanooga, Tenn. With plenty of camping space, floral gardens and lakes which host some of the most eclectic species of fauna in Tennessee, you can spend the week tapping into your inner Bear Grylls.

The cost depends on how down-to-moss you’re going to get and civilization is only a few miles away. No dueling banjos, guaranteed. If you’re more domestic and afraid of the great green yonder, you can always opt to rent a log cabin in Gatlinburg, Tenn.

With a plethora of cabins to rent ranging from $100-$200 a night, you and a few friends can cozy up in a mountain getaway that will most likely include a heart-shaped hot tub.

Gatlinburg boasts sweet shopping, taffy factories and the largest supply of maple syrup this side of Canada. With these features, combined with Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium, Smokey Mountain Winery, various theme parks and whitewater rafting, your spring break will surely be epic.

One tank trips: For those of us on a tight budget, a one day tank trip is just what the Gov ordered. For a standard collegiate car, you’re pushing 200 miles of radius around Clarksville, putting you anywhere from St. Louis, Mo. to Atlanta, Ga.

These larger cities offer loads of shopping, entertainment and restaurants for the price of a tank of gas.

Get creative with your activities; with a little bargaining you can wrangle up some coupons for theme parks and museum tours and a quick flash of your student ID card will get you a discount on national parks, museums and art galleries.

Staycation: For us poor college students whose belts are so tight that ramen is pushing the envelope, you can invest in a staycation. A staycation doesn’t mean lying around the house in six day old Simpsons boxers and playing countless hours of Halo: Reach.

Staycations are centered around relaxation and cleansing of the mind and body. Grab some friends and host a spa and makeup party.

APSU student and Mary Kay consultant, Britney Che Handley, offers huge specials and free packages to students wanting to host Mary Kay parties over spring break.

If you give her a call and invite a handful of friends, you can be sitting on a pile of products that won’t cost you a penny.

A night of facials followed by a movie with all your poor friends will help set off a spring break staycation of friendship and bonding.

Try cooking a potluck dinner, water painting or vandalizing each other’s Facebook walls with obscenities in foreign languages.

With a little creativity, you can plan a few days of activities that will put you in the mood to finish your semester with a bang. TAS