By Maddie Bernard, Guest Columnist

Spring break is a time when we as college students are expected to be so exhausted from our studies that we travel to a tropical location with all of our best friends and have a wild weeklong beach party. This is the idea of a typical college-student’s spring in America, but some might wonder how often it actually happens.

Most have seen the statistics about how Panama City Beach, Florida attracts 250,000 crazed college kids for spring break, and heard that spring break should be “the best week of your life.”

But the realities of how many of our friends in college have gone on spring break trips might be quite different. It makes me question whether the idea of spring break is realistic. While I have seen a few pictures on Facebook of my friends at crazy beach parties, I do not know anyone from Pacific Lutheran University who has gone on a spring break trip.

“It just is not realistic,” sophomore Isabellah Von Trapp said. “It is expensive, hard to plan in the middle of midterms, and nice tropical locations are far away from PLU. I know of students going to Canada, but that is still not the stereotypical spring break.”

Due to PLU’s location, it would be very expensive to fly  somewhere like Florida or Mexico for spring break, especially on a college student’s budget. An organization called StudentCity creates spring break travel packages for students to locations like Florida or Mexico. However, the first part of the package, which only included a hotel room for seven nights, cost more than $1,000 per person. In the Northwest, it is harder to have a party spring break trip, simply because it is more difficult to get there.

According to a survey by the National Association of College Stores, about 75 percent of college students said they were going home, working, staying on campus, sleeping or doing nothing for spring break. That means that only 25 percent of college students are going on crazy spring break trips.
However, we do not see this side of spring break represented in the media. No reporter wants to focus on college kids who stay home and sleep, even though they are the majority. Instead, the media only focuses on the 25 percent of college students who go on wild trips. For instance, if you do a Google image search for “spring break,” all that will appear are photos of girls drinking and partying on beaches in their skimpy bikinis. There will not be any photos of college students napping. The media hypes up the idea of college spring break, when in reality the majority of students do not go to nonstop beach parties.

The college spring break trip is an unrealistic fantasy. Instead use your week for an alternative spring break trip, building houses or serving your community. The stereotypical spring break experience is very difficult to obtain, and is simply not worth it.

So instead of feeling bad if you are not having the stereotypical spring break experience, remember there are lots of other students out there who are not in Cancun or Florida but are sleeping on their couch. ◼︎

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