No break for spring

Courtesy Photo / Marc Maycroft
Marc Maycroft

Courtesy Photo / Marc Maycroft Marc Maycroft

Marc Maycroft

With the sunlight beating down on you for a golden tan that the world would envy, the white sand beneath your body and a cold drink in arm’s reach, it must be spring break — on TV.

Spring break for most college students today is not as ideal as Hollywood would like to presume. Destinations like Ft. Lauderdale do bring in thousands of students every year, each looking for their own MTV Spring Break experience. Speaking of which, does MTV even do that anymore? Do you remember when they spent, like, the whole week showing bathing suits and semi-famous musicians on the beach, yet for some reason, they only swam in pools? For the last few years, many students have simply skipped their break. A large number of students hold down jobs while they attend college to supplement their budget, leaving them, in most cases, unable to pick up and go cross-country for wild parties and raucous behavior.

Let us not forget the cost of travel. Plane tickets are expensive this time of year, not to mention various layovers and delays. Gas prices are outrageous right now, which makes car travel difficult. Also, driving to destinations like Florida from Michigan is time-consuming and dangerous. We all have that friend with an unhealthy obsession for gas station burritos. Put that together with a long road trip and you are asking for trouble. Hotel costs are a major issue as well – unless you enjoy sleeping on crusty sheets and renting by the hour. There is, of course, the option of sleeping in your car, but the push for hybrids and Mini Coopers destroyed that dream. If I wanted to know what being in the womb was like, I’d ask a baby. Gone are the days of SUVs and windowless panel vans that have inappropriate pictures spray painted on the side.

The cost of going is one thing, but the cost of leaving is another. They don’t call them starving students because they like alliteration. College students are broke by occupation. We spend so much time in the classroom and in the books (that new novel won’t read itself you know) that we don’t have the time to make boat loads, even bumper boat loads of cash. However, students also cannot afford to lose their jobs. McDonalds is a forgiving place, but even they have their limits. The jobs that keep students afloat don’t simply let you leave anymore because the guy with four degrees is waiting for a job too in this economy.

For students today, spring break has become just that: a break. We spend weeks in class, writing papers, taking tests and doing projects that we need some mental health time. Spring break isn’t about looking for the place with the tightest clothes and the nicest beaches anymore. It is about finding the comfiest couch and the nicest bag of chips. Those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t partake in spring break, well, we watch other people participate before we have to go back for the second half of the semester, where we will once more go crazy with stress.

So I took in the spring the best way I knew how: a Revenge of the Nerds marathon, homemade pina coladas and a pair of sweat pants that I may or may not have changed over the course of the week.

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