How to survive any spring break trip

Christine Colleran

We glorify the concept of college spring break. MTV (the once end-all-be-all of American pop culture), raised us with the notion that spring break was the time in which all inhibitions were lost, copious amounts of alcohol consumed, and irresponsible actions instigated. This all occurs while partying in a colorful bathing suit poolside, of course.

While we know that this picture of spring break doesn’t always prove accurate, it does exist as one of the three types of common spring break trips. Whether you and your friends are taking over Panama City Beach or you are spending the break at home with your family, here are some tips and notes to help you survive the experience.

Trip # 1 The Beach Trip With Friends

Congratulations, you have successfully followed social norms and planned “theee” spring break trip of the century. Where your imagination lacks, your wallet does as well. Those things being said, you have probably worked hard all semester (after all, you can afford this trip) and it’s really freaking cold here- so go get warm and enjoy yourself.

Things not to do: Don’t drink too much and get a tattoo, and, yes- lip tattoos count (buy a souvenir for your mother instead). Do not get arrested, it is not a funny spring break story- incarceration is the way you lose out on that job opportunity in a year. Don’t shout YOLO. Ever. I think that one is self-explanatory.

Things to do: Do bring an air-mattress. The only way you could afford this trip was sleeping 13 people to a room, so having an air-mattress makes you the Einstein of the group.
Trip # 2 The Family Trip

Despite the fact that Einstein is on the other trip, it is you, my friend, who is the true genius here. After all, Mom and Dad won’t take you on vacation forever. Your wallet remains mostly intact, and chances are you are going somewhere a little more exciting than Panama City or Daytona Beach.

Things not to do: Drink too much (I am sensing a theme) and fight with your parents. They reserve the right to send you to your (hotel) room if you get a little to rowdy. Don’t harass your siblings in front of your parents. You are in college now; you are intelligent enough to determine the appropriate time to give your brother a wet willie.

Things to do: Actually chat with your parents. You are a product of them, so chances are they were cool once too. Also, take advantage of the really great food; it won’t hurt your wallet!

Trip # 3 Heading Home for the Week

We all need a low-key spring break every now and then. While your break will hardly amounts to lip tattoos in Panama City, you can still have your fun.

Things not to do: Drink too much (if you are underage- and just in general), people say GVSU is bad with minor in possession charges, but I have heard plenty of stories of students getting too comfortable at home and coming back with that awful MIP ticket.

Things to do: Go the local bars (provided you are 21). Try to find your math teacher from high school and watch his/her eye twitch as you buy them a drink. Re-connect with your hometown friends – trust me, you have no idea how much you miss them. Finally, get a home cooked meal or two- it’s good for the soul.

In the end, no matter where you go, the key to a great spring break is to be smart and enjoy your time with friends and family. Be safe Grand Valley, see you next week!
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