Stereotypes of college students’ spring break

I am a Senior at KU, 21-and-a-half years of age and single. If my life was a rowdy college comedy starring Ryan Reynolds or Anna Faris, I would be jetting off this weekend with my girlfriends for my final college Spring Break. I would be walking the beaches of Florida or partying my face off in Cancun, without a care in the world how much those Frozen Strawberry Margaritas cost me. But unfortunately, this isn’t a multi-million dollar movie … this is my simple and poor life.

Realistically, though, how many of us can say our plans for Spring Break include tropical beaches or partying in a foreign country until the wee hours of the night? My suitemate is flying to Florida for the week, but that’s just because she has the right connections. My other suitemate’s plans include getting her cat declawed and catching up on sleep.

I consider myself lucky enough to go into New York City this weekend to catch up with some old friends, and even that’s going to cost me a bit more than I am comfortable spending. But, I figure if spending two nights in a hotel, going to medium-priced restaurants and filling my gas tank a couple of times is the most I do over my Senior Spring Break, I am going to live large. That’s why I have decided to spend the $170 per night at a Hampton Inn, instead of the more reasonable $48 per night at the nice, but very sketchy Quality Inn. I only visit my friends in Long Island once or twice a year, so why not go there in style?

However, I bet that if I polled half the student population and asked them what they planned to do over the break, an overwhelming percentage would come back with: sleep, eat, play videogames and possibly hang out with some home-town friends. College students just don’t have the excess money to spend on frivolous vacations, at least when their parents don’t get involved.

All of the PG-13 and R-rated movies that feature scenes of the stereotypical Spring Break plant ideas in the viewer’s mind that going on an outrageous road trip or spending money on all the top hotels and restaurants is possible, and even more so, expected for college students. Then again, Hollywood decides to make the over-the-top party movies, because a movie about what really goes on during a school break – sleep, sleep and even more sleep – wouldn’t grab too much attention.

Spring Breakers is a movie solely based around four girls’ journey to have the “spring break they will never forget,” according to Hollywood has decided to release it on March 22, right about the time when college students are on break. If you think that’s a coincidence, please think again. The film’s producers are hoping that viewers of the 18-24 age frame will see this movie and get thoughts of what they should do on their own Spring Break. Hopefully, that won’t include robbing a restaurant and landing yourself in jail, only to be bailed out by a drug dealer that wants you to do favors for him. That plot-line should be saved for the movie.

I don’t think it matters what you do over the next week away from school. You could spend it asleep in a bed, working on a tan (authentic or fake, to fool your friends), catching up on some homework or catching up with friends from home. All that matters is that for the next week, you recharge and de-stress your mind. We only have two months until the end of the semester, and for those of us that are graduating, these next two months are going to feel like two years. It’s best we get our sleep in while we can.

By Mary Pickett

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