Every year over spring break, college students trade in their textbooks for a 6-pack of beer and set out for warmer and sunnier destinations. Spring break has become a sort of competition to see who can have the wildest, most party-filled week and live to tell the stories. But what appears to be good-natured fun often gets out of hand when copious amounts of alcohol are paired with college students trying to impress their friends and live up to the college standard of the ideal spring break.
Websites that organize and promote their own spring break vacations encourage students to tell their parents that they are going on an educational trip. The message brags, “Don’t worry about the water because you will be drinking beer.”
Places like Florida and Mexico must prepare every spring for the flood of college students that are sure to come. People who head to those destinations can expect travel advisories and a much heavier police presence.
In Miami Beach, the message “Come on vacation, don’t leave on probation” is plastered on fliers and trolleys that urge college students to obey the law during their visit. The police agency there received $700,000 in funding from the city since they must work an absurd amount of overtime in March.
The disturbances that hyped-up college students cause in coastal cities are dangerous not only for themselves, but for the locals as well.
Last year in South Padre Island and Port Aransas, two popular spring break destinations in Texas, over 400 car crashes were reported due to drunk driving over the period of spring break which resulted in 11 deaths and 40 injuries.
Substance abuse and sexual assault are two of the toughest challenges police departments face during spring break season.
Each year in Cancun, hospitals report an alarming increase in deaths, rapes, injuries, assaults and arrests related to drinking. This especially pertains to women as spring break is infamous for blackouts and the sexual violence that can follow.
The American Medical Association ran a poll of college women and their spring break experiences. Some of the key findings are disturbing.
Forty percent of women admitted that the most important factor in deciding to go on their spring break trip was the promise of free alcohol to underage students. One in five respondents said that they felt forced or pressured into sex during their vacation.
What is meant to be a fun and relaxing break from studying has turned into an all-out binge fest. It seems as if spring breakers are trying to recreate a movie scene of some college beach party gone wrong.
Blacking out for your entire spring break defeats the purpose of creating an unforgettable one. This trend of putting yourself in danger for others’ entertainment is simply not worth it.
Before setting out on the spring break of a lifetime, consider the possibility of your plans hurting yourself or others. Bad choices can easily become just another statistic. Binge drinking, drunk driving and coercion do not make fun stories to brag about back on campus.