Spring Break: Smells Like Teen Spirit

Ashley in a Tree

By Ashley Reiss
Student Life Editor

Monotonous day after monotonous day you enter the same block building in subzero temperatures that you presumably hate or despise–at this point of the year, but then suddenly the weather takes a turn for warmth, spring. You’re about done with pulling all-nighters to finish projects that have no point and attaining grades that don’t reflect the hard work you’re putting in (or maybe not), so when spring break comes, it’s a relief for students everywhere—a week to let off steam that has built up and to forget about school (as much as you can) in weather that is actually enjoyable to go outside in, without three hundred layers of shirts squeezed into a north face.
When “letting off steam” and “forgetting about school” goes too far however, the presumed “spring breakers gone wild” is attained when college kids and some daring high school upperclassman take it to extremes, inhaling as much alcohol as possible while forgetting any of their agendas at all.
Some can venture that it’s the school’s fault that these kids are put into situations when stress builds up, so of course they will seek places where this stress can be released. But also it might have to do with the stereotype. That during spring break you have to go to a beach with thousands of these other students and go wild.
Not only are students peer pressured into going, or just going to have a fun time, according to 850 magazines, “community spends thousands of dollars every year to attract college kids from across the southeast.” But places actually want these disorderly masses of students to come to their neighborhood because that means money. Even gyms are generating profits, because as mentioned in Penn State’s paper, The Collegian, “we have an increase in gym memberships at the beginning of the semester,” dealing with kids who want to look good for spring break and summer-partying on beaches. While the locals feel otherwise, they are left floundering and to deal with these teenagers running amuck doing things they won’t remember a day from now leading to fights and for the college kids unintentional outcomes. Yet, the communities themselves—bars, restaurants, stores and hotels, are profiting.
Yet when so many teenagers are under the influence and in mass mobs, unquestionable things could happen. Spring break has been synonymous with exploiting teenagers when they are in incoherent states producing viral videos and shows featured on MTV about spring breakers as well as people mocking the crazy behavior of these individuals. Movies have portrayed spring break like “Spring Breakers” which covers the story of intense crime within the setting of spring break.
Some crime shows even portray heinous things happening during spring break and cop shows have special episodes themed Spring Break, showing underage drinking and inappropriate behavior without parental supervision.
But spring break didn’t start with crazed teenagers looking for something to do and with businesses needing to profit off them; it goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. According to SunSentinel spring was celebrated with wine—ringing in the new season. Thus it isn’t far-fetched that we still celebrate the ringing in the new season with alcohol now, except it turned to a teenage themed crazed extravaganza.
Spring break is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a time to have fun—which is what teenagers should be able to do from time to time, but safety is important. Nobody wants to shut down spring break altogether because of the mass profit that is generated from eager kids who will do about anything that is guaranteed a fun time.
In moderate amounts of fun is key, gather a group of friends and do something out of the ordinary or take a day of seclusion in the park to read a novel because in just one week you will be immersed into the grueling finial stretch of school till summer. One week can go by insanely fast, as a result make the most of your week of freedom from the tedious workload and not be in a purely obliterated state leading you to forget your whole week off and lend you right back into school without any fun of remembrance.