February is drawing to a close, and that means that March, and spring, is right around the corner.
Few college students can think of springtime without thinking of one thing – spring break. Spring break is that magical vacation away from all academic worries and concerns; a time to rest relax and reboot.
It is supposed to be simply a week long chance to clear our heads before returning to the grind of school.
But for many college students, spring break is more than just a break – it’s their excuse to go wild. Over the last two decades spring breaks have grown from a typical school sanctioned vacation, like fall break or winter break, into a wild booze-filled over the top rampage.
The mentality behind the break is what has fueled the change in behavior. Students treat this break as their reward for staying focused and not partying (too much) during the semester. Once the break arrives we go nuts, as if trying to make up for all the lost time.
We aren’t the only ones to follow this mindset – the older generations are the same way. We all know people who are simply “living for the weekend,” using their jobs to pay for their fun once Friday rolls around.
Whatever causes people to go crazier on spring break than the other breaks is merely a side note, because it is the fact that people are going crazy that really matters. Each year hundreds of students are hospitalized for alcohol or drug abuse, dehydration, assault or a variety of other abuses. Thousands of dollars in damages occur in hotels and bars around the world, due to out of control partiers. There are even a handful of deaths that occur every year due to things getting out of hand.
And what happens once the college crowd returns home? We are wiped out, drained from the excess amount of partying that went on. We usually don’t feel any more prepared for school than when we left, sometimes even less.
All we can do is get thrown back into the grindstone, and start counting down the days to summer break.
So if that’s true, what’s the point of spring break? Wasn’t it supposed to rejuvenate us? To refill us instead of wipe us out?
It’s not a matter of not partying, but simply of partying smarter. Learn to make informed decisions about your situations and your groups of friends before the situation is allowed to get out of hand. Educate yourself about the risks involved in spring break so you can be ready to deal with them should they come up.
Each year ESU hosts a Safe Spring Break event, dedicated to informing the campus about some of the dangers associated with spring break, and how best to avoid them. They cover a wide range of topics, from alcohol poisoning to sexual assault to over-exertion. The event is free for anyone to attend and usually contains a lot of fun games prizes and food. This year the event is March 8 from 8-9:30 p.m. in Webb Lecture Hall.
There is nothing wrong with going out and having a fun, relaxing spring break- that’s why it was created. Without something to break up the semester I don’t know how we could get through the whole thing in one piece. But if your spring breaks usually wind up being more trouble than they are worth, with injuries, legal incidents, or just unhealthy practices, maybe it’s time to reevaluate how helpful that break is.
It’s never too late to make a change for a safer spring break.