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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: Don’t be dumb this spring break

Against the quintessential beach trip
Looking+to+hit+the+beaches+for+spring+break%3F+Opinion+columnist+Bj+Barnes+says+students+don%E2%80%99t+have+to+drink%2C+receive+coition+or+go+someplace+exotic+to+have+fun.%0A%28Graphic+by+Caroline+Dollar%2FThe+Battalion%29
Graphic by Caroline Dollar/The Battalion
Looking to hit the beaches for spring break? Opinion columnist Bj Barnes says students don’t have to drink, receive coition or go someplace exotic to have fun. (Graphic by Caroline Dollar/The Battalion)

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve officially made it. 

Whether it’s Miami, Cabo, Myrtle Beach, Key West, Orlando, San Diego or yes … the granddaddy of them all for Texas college students, South Padre Island, you can be sure that whatever sunny “paradise” a group of students decide to travel to, they will all more or less find themselves sharing the same experience. 

This time next week, a good portion of our student body will be lying face down in the sand bordering a body of emerald green and blue water, or brown if you’re staying in Texas, with a fruity drink in both hands sporting a burnt bright red back. 

Welcome to spring break. 

It’s been hailed by college students for eons, but why? For starters, it’s so eloquently placed smack-dab in the middle of an otherwise jam-packed spring semester that has relatively no other breaks. At least, this is the reasoning most collegiate institutions will cite. 

There are, of course, other unofficial reasons. It’s the annual nine-day vacation away from early morning classes, busy work and your roommate who refuses to pick up their leftovers. Not to mention, it’s an excuse to go someplace exotic and kiss a stranger after one too many drinks.

Think of it as an insular bubble far removed from the regular authoritative line of vision. For these reasons, students flock towards spring break because it’s void of any regular faces or passive judgment. 

Tired of seeing the same faces at Northgate? Know your close friends would be disappointed with the guy you brought home? Want to drink and not worry about what happens afterwards? Want to make poor decisions without the fear of someone you know seeing you? All of these burning desires shrouded in debauchery arrive at the same remedy — spring break.   

This is right around the time I’d expect to hear something along the lines of  “We’re young and free, let us do what we want,” and for once, I agree. You are a young adult who’s capable of making your own choices. However, aside from STDs and the Lord’s eyes peering down at you, have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you feel compelled to act this way? 

Do you really enjoy rubbing up against dirty strangers in topless mosh pits while a sweaty DJ wearing a tank top with his dark chest hair poking out repeatedly yells into his microphone “LET LOOSE EVERYBODY, IT’S SPRING BREAK!”  

If you really do, hey, go for it. I only have one year’s experience, but it was enough for me to never want to partake in the quintessential beachy college spring break again. I spent a majority of the time paying for overpriced sugary drinks and wanting to forget 95% of the indecent and filthy incidents my two eyes witnessed. On the bright side, I’ve never appreciated a shower more.    

If you’ve just never been and are curious, prepare yourself because everything I’ve listed will happen and a whole lot more. If you’re going simply because your friends are, you might want to reconsider. That is, unless you are looking forward to waking up in a two-star La Quinta hotel bathtub or being approached by overzealous religious groups offering you pancakes accompanied by their patented “come to Jesus” talk at 2 a.m.  

Next week, you have a decision to make. You can do something that you genuinely enjoy, like spending time with your family or going somewhere that isn’t disease-ridden. Or you can continue to tell yourself  participating in Daisy Duke twerk contests and just flat-out acting irresponsibly is acceptable because after all, “It’s just spring break, baby.”

Benjamin Barnes is a telecommunication media studies senior and opinion columnist for The Battalion.

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