Growing up and going to high school and college, my only reference to Spring Break was the movie “Where the Boys Are.” The movie featured George Hamilton and Yvette Mimieux among many, as well as a great song by Connie Francis (and as I type this I am wondering if any of the readers even know what I am talking about.)
I did not know that an important part of college life for many was, and still is, the ritual of Spring Break.
During this time, no classes are held on campus for at least one week. Students are expected to take a break from studies as a way to recharge for the rest of the academic year. Many students choose to travel away from campus, either back to their home, or to a number of popular locations throughout the world.
Though there are some popular destinations for students during Spring Break, the week can of course be spent anywhere. Most students choose not to stay on campus. Many students take the opportunity to travel home to visit family and old friends. The typical Spring Break student likely heads to hotspots like Cancun, Panama City, Daytona Beach or Lake Havasu City. For most college students, Spring Break conjures up images of wild parties, young men and women with little clothing, large quantities of alcohol and illegal drugs, sunny beaches, and of course, casual sex.
I am glad to report though that a growing trend among college students, who desire to throw off the stereotype of drunken, self-centeredness that comes with Spring Break, is the Alternative Spring Break. This option, which coincides with the “normal” Spring Break, involves spending the week off in some sort of service project.
A number of organizations are involved in this increasingly popular movement, including both secular and faith-based organizations. Examples include volunteering with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, working with conservation groups in National Parks and traveling with on-campus faith organizations to undertake mission activity.
For many college students, this type of Spring Break is much more fulfilling than a week of drinking and casual sex, but can be just as tiring as another week in classes.
The financial cost for Alternative Spring Breaks can also be just as high as traveling home or to one of the Spring Break hotspots. Regardless of the destination and desired activity, college students hold Spring Break in high regard as a time to escape normal responsibilities and enjoy time with friends.
So please, take the time to talk with your child, and perhaps you can influence what your child does during Spring Break this year. And by the way, if you want or need additional pointers on Spring Break health and safety tips, I’d like to suggest that you visit the CDC’s website by going to: https://tinyurl.com/y698a63n.