A spring break-down
JOAN O’LEARY | ASST. OPINION EDITOR
With Spring Break right around the corner for USD undergraduates, many are looking forward to their week away from the library. Spring Break, although a fun time for many, can also be a worrisome time of year for parents, students, and universities across the country. Shows such as “MTV Spring Break” have glamorized the excessive drinking and sexy behavior that is associated with a stereotypical college Spring Break. Although Spring Break is an anticipated time for many University of San Diego Toreros, sometimes the risks associated with going on spring break are overlooked.
In recent data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the stats indicated that nearly half of all college students binge drink – and during Spring Break this behavior becomes extreme. One study conducted by the American College of Health discovered that the average male student reported drinking 18 drinks per day and the average female student reported up to 10 drinks per day during Spring Break. According the Chicago Tribune, during the mid semester vacation, it’s estimated that 44 percent of college females and 75 percent of college males become inebriated on a daily basis over the break.
Rather than casually consuming drinks over a span of hours, shots and various mixed drinks are guzzled down in seconds. This may not be very shocking to many college students who have previously been on Spring Break in Cabo or other hot-spot spring destinations. However, it is important to note that these numbers are significantly above safe levels of alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption and binge drinking are just a few of the reasons to be cautious when embarking on a Spring Break trip. Additionally, drug use also escalates, and can have lasting consequences. According to ABC News, Spring Break is one of the peak times the hospital sees ecstasy and molly-related ER visits. With drugs readily available in places such as Miami and Cabo, many college students who may not have experimented with drugs before are now finding these drugs easily acceptable.
Drugs and alcohol aside, college men and women have to be just as careful about sexually transmitted disease during this time. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), 74 percent of Spring Break trips result in increased sexual activity.
AMA also noted that nearly three out of five women know friends who had unprotected sex during Spring Break and that one in five respondents regretted engaging in sexual activities during the holiday. There have also been many incidents of sexual assault as a result of swarms of people in certain locations, along with easy access to drugs and alcohol.
Although many statistics reveal that Spring Break is a dangerous time for college students across the country, many USD students feel that going somewhere fun for a trip with their friends is a part of the college experience. Personally, I believe that if you are able to avoid the pressures of binge drinking and drug use, it can be a fun experience to check off of your college bucket list.
Senior Tom Robinson, who vacationed in Cabo last year, shares why he believes that in this case, the benefits outweigh the risks.
“I had a great time going to Cabo with my friends last spring break,” Robinson said. “If you are responsible and safe, it can be a fun relaxing time. Spring Break isn’t exactly how MTV portrays it to be.”
However, even though it may seem that the only option for the week off is to party with your friends in Cabo, there are many alternative Spring Break opportunities. USD offers alternatives options in efforts to avoid the pressures of excessive partying.
Junior Kierstyn Suda plans to spend her break exploring nature and camping with classmates.
“I am so excited to go on an Outdoor Adventure trip this Spring Break,” Suda said. “It will be so relaxing to get away from technology and school for a while. I love nature and I am so excited to have the opportunity to relax and hike during Spring Break.”
Another option for a fun Spring Break experience is to do something meaningful for the local community. Some students use their free time to attend USD’s Tijuana Spring Break through program.
Senior Gus Averello reflects on his time on TJSB.
“Honestly, one of my favorite weeks at USD,” Averello said. “TJSB exposed me to the value of simplicity and that wealth is in relationships. It is easy to get sidetracked in our material-driven world. This trip was simply eye opening.”
While the partying and beach trips may be a fun Spring Break option, when it comes down to it, living in San Diego may not be that different. Rather than cross borders, there are many benefits to finding a different alternative. As the saying goes, “We live where you spring break” so maybe even try exploring this familiar city instead.