Allow Me To Change Your Mind: Spring Break Bash


John Huber, Reporter

We’ve passed the wintry snowy slush that is February and it is now about time for the chaotic changes in weather that is March. With that, a certain feeling infiltrates average college students that makes them want to take the week off and cut loose at a sunny tropical resort.

This time is known as Spring Break, a non-specific passage of time where college students travel to the resort of their dreams and let it all out as a deviation to the hustle and bustle that is college life.

But where did the idea of Spring Break start? Why is it a party time for students? And what places do students flock to during this time? Allow me to share some history on how this college getaway came to be.

The answer traces back to our good old friends, the Greeks who, around the time of spring, blow off steam from thinking about important things by holding a three-day “awakening” dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility.

However, it wasn’t until the mid-1930s when a swim coach from upstate New York took his team to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to train at a new Olympic-sized swimming pool. The idea clicked with other college swim coaches and the spring training migration became a tradition for swimmers nationwide.

In their off time, however, the college athletes partied like crazy, word got out and, since then, southern beaches have been overflowing with northern college students, something that picked up steam in the 40s and 50s.

It wasn’t until 1960 when the modern version of Spring Break came to fruition with the publication of “Where the Boys Are” in which the author tagged along with his students to witness their Spring Break in person. That trip included beach-cruising and other activities that made Florida look like a paradise. After the book (And the MGM film) came out, the number of students visiting Fort Lauderdale skyrocketed from 20,000 to 50,000 overnight and, by 1985, an estimated 350,000 students visited the place every year.

As a result of this overflow of college students and their escapades, stricter laws were passed in the city and the mayor appeared on “Good Morning America” to tell students to take their antics elsewhere. This resulted in overflow in places like Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach which held the first MTV broadcast of Spring Break in 1986. Since then, more exotic locations like Cancun, Jamaica and Lake Havasu, Arizona have become Spring Break destinations.

So, allow me to change your mind

I have no ill will toward Spring Break itself; it’s a great opportunity to kick back, cut loose and unwind from the stress of college life. However, I’m not a huge fan of the idea that Spring Break is meant to be this wild party that lasts for seven days or more.

There is more than one way to celebrate Spring Break, contrary to what the special broadcasts on MTV might tell you. First, you have the party Spring Break which is popular in today’s world (Maybe not so much these days with the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic).

But my favorite way to spend Spring Break is to return to my parents’ house and catch up with family, to see them in person and appreciate them for all the things they did for me.

Who knows? Maybe there are things you could do back home that you can’t do here, like go to that favorite restaurant you’ve been craving, go to the theater and see the movie you wanted to see with your dad or catch up on reading you have been meaning to do.

Or admire the fact that it is a much-needed break from the semester.

Besides this could save you or your parents money on travel and hotel accommodations and other things and your parents will appreciate the time spent with you. As for the school side of things, this will give you extra time to study for tests or quizzes that may happen after you get back to school (I know that Spring Break can be a time for some R and R, but one must keep their brain sharp).

Maybe Spring Break could be the first step in finding a summer job. Scope out the options you have and see which one is right for you.

What I’ve shared is advice on alternate ways to spend Spring Break. You can go to Fort Lauderdale or to an alternate place, take in the beach environment and ease your mind or you can spend it in another place that feels like home and take time to revisit places that have nostalgia memories attached to them.