Instead of vacationing out of town or soaking up rays at the nearest beach, students at Cal State University Northridge are attending classes this week to catch up with the school calendar.
The devastating Jan. 17 earthquake that left the campus with up to $350 million in damage also shook up the spring semester schedule by delaying the start of classes for two weeks.
To make up for lost time, officials canceled spring break for the university's 24,813 students and added another week of classes to the end of the semester.
"The students have been under unusual conditions where the loss of spring break seems to not be as big an impact as we thought it would be," said Kaine Thompson, a university spokeswoman.
The campus activities office is trying to take students' minds off the situation with a series of events called Spring Break on Campus, including volleyball tournaments and band performances.
"I think we're accepting of it, but it doesn't make it any easier," said Rodney Lazar, a senior and vice president of Associated Students. "We're used to the daily ritual--the sounds of trucks rolling by, huge forklifts going by, hammers, the constant humming of generators, mud.
"I don't blame the administration at all. They did the best with the time they had."
Rather than extend classes further into the summer, Thompson said, administrators canceled spring break to help seniors graduate on time and to start summer school without too much delay.
That suits students like Jason Burrows just fine.
"It doesn't bother me at all," said the 24-year-old senior majoring in finance. "I'd like to graduate as soon as possible and start working. It's not that big a deal to me."