On Skipping Spring Break

Yeah, college students pay good money for this. Never me, though. Too claustrophobic.

I’ve got just a few younger friends and acquaintances on Facebook, but they do a great job of squashing the little nostalgia I have for college. Most of them are on spring break now, which is an experience I passed on each of my six years in school.

I’m not much of a group person and as someone who’s admittedly stingy, I could never justify spending a grand in pursuit of a seven-day booze bender on some crowded beach in a cliche spring break destination where I might come away with nothing more than a sunburn, an illegitimate child and a squandered future in politics. Call me materialistic, but if I’m spending a grand, I want more than blurry memories.

That’s not so for everyone. I knew plenty of guys who seemingly went to college just for the chance to go on spring break. The first five months of their school year were spent in preparation-mode by working out, tanning and recruiting others to come with to Cancun or Mazatlan or wherever. The several months after spring break were spent retelling the same old stories which invariably involved a) tequila b) some girl from Florida or c) almost being arrested. I think most of those guys are still in college, 25-year-old juniors.

I don’t like tanning or dancing or wearing white sunglasses or even hanging out with more than a few friends at once. Spring break would’ve been my personal hell. My girlfriend and I did go to Tampa Bay for spring break in 2008. We went with another couple and stayed in a hotel we could only afford because my uncle was a manager. It was the least spring break spring break you could ask for and I would still rather refer to it as a vacation. Wide-open beach, classy hotel, no sign of a wet t-shirt contest or cameramen documenting the charades — that was a good spring break.

Now, if you sense some bitterness in my tone, you’re dead right. Whenever I see pictures or hear stories, I roll my eyes, but a part of me thinks I might have missed out on something. I’m not saying I wish I would’ve participated in the typical spring break shenanigans, but it could’ve been fun to bear witness. I’m a writer, after all. Five days in Cabo San Lucas could’ve meant a lifetime of material.

At the very least, I believe in the idea of spring break. College is an absolute grind and few people deserve a good weeklong vacation like the overburdened college student. College students are broke, no matter how many jobs they hold, so taking any opportunity to fund a week of the good life seems like a moral victory to me, even if it means pulling some extra financial aid money. Thanks, government.

This might be my job talking — I coach college students — but I would say let spring break be a motivator for long-term success. Bust your tail in school so you can someday land the job that will allow you to take real vacations to destinations a little less…horny. Vacations that look less like date-rape conventions and more like a relaxing getaway.

Be as 20 or 21 or 22 as you can be, but when you get back, please try to reimmerse yourself into civilization in the least obnoxious way possible. Be considerate of all of us jealous college grads.

10 thoughts on “On Skipping Spring Break

  1. Your description of the typical spring breaker reminds me of a friend of yours. I’m sure he reads this too so I won’t mention names. Those crazy kids definitely need to be considered in the border control security.

  2. Same exact sentiments on spring break .. fuckin hate that shit! Plus I don’t wear enough Affliction or digest enough whey protein to fit in at Cabo or Cancun. But what I would really like to do is to pose for one of those awsome, non-cheesy pictures taken by the bar or club and post it with the club name rehab or body english on Facebook to prove that indeed I spring break.

  3. I’ve never taken a spring break either, Andrew. Nor has Michael. Dont get me wrong, I love getting together with friends and taking a beer bong or 3, but I’d rather spend $800 on going out west and letting a log cabin swallow me whole than maybe losing my top in the Gulf. Well said buddy, well said :)

  4. My spring break trips?

    Year 1-3: I worked. I had an $500-$600 bucks in my pocket each year, that I’m sure I spent on great nights with lifelong friends at the local bar. Those are great memories.

    Year 4: Sister got married in Mexico. Family was there, doesn’t count.

    Year 5: I went with a few friends to a cabin in Deadwood on a snowboarding trip. Plenty of booze, but we still got up early every morning to ride the good powder. Now that was a spring break.

    The hell with Miami. Not a single hill in sight.

  5. Couldn’t agree more, my friend.

    I took the same basic approach.

    Why waste the cash? Why let the world see my pasty white flesh if unnecessary? Why hang voluntarily hang around a bunch of d-bags? Why run the risk of catching some new strain of airborne gonorrhea?

    Freshman and Sophomore years, I worked.

    Junior year, Grace and I hit up San Diego–which despite being a pretty warm place is absolutely deserted during Spring Break–and it was AWESOME!!

    Senior year, Grace and I hit up your new digs, Portland to scout the place when Grace was planning to go to Portland State for grad school. Good times all-around.

  6. Just when i thought i was on my first spring break ever uve made me realize its more of a vacation, first the brothers and I along with some friends rented a cabin out in the hills near deadwood south dakota for 3 nights, pretty wild at times but tollerable because it was only friends and if it was too much u call always go downstairs or out to the hot tub, round two is peurto rico with jeffy and nick visiting his gf and stayin at her owners beach house….. again self contained crowd very relaxed……. does this mean i still have never been on spring break?? i need some clarification andrew

  7. Just watching “Where the Boys Are”. An old(1960)movie about spring break in Ft. Lauderdale…seems like a cheesy movie but appears spring break hasn’t changed too much!

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