Spring-break self vs. everyday self

Darren D’Altorio

In a wash of alcohol and sex-fueled partying, take ownership of behavior

Next week will be a hedonistic adventure for many Kent State students. Yes, the annual spring break pilgrimage to lands of zero responsibility, and self-respect in some cases, is almost here. I hope everyone’s liver is prepared.

It’s no secret that spring break is associated with experimentation in every conceivable form. The alcohol. The drugs. The sex. To many students, these are all perceived to be essential ingredients to an enjoyable escape from college. But no one really wants to discuss his or her personal involvement with the aforementioned elements.

I tried to get the dirt, asking various Kent State students to share their raunchy experiences. I wanted stories from men and women alike. I was prepared to report about one-night stands, vomit splashed flip-flops and mushroom trips that led to hallucinatory jellyfish attacks. All I got were second and third-hand accounts of what people’s friends told them about their friend’s spring break debauchery. Apparently no one wants their name to appear in the newspaper in association with such filth.

Why? What is the point of going on spring break, knowing good and well you’re going to get smashed every day and potentially do things so shameful your parents would deny creating you, if not to share those fuzzy memories?

So, I had to turn to the Internet for some enlightenment. Browsing YouTube, I found some interesting videos created by MomLogic.com. The documentary style clips, shot in South Padre Island, Texas, were everything one would expect to see from students on spring break. There were 18-year-old girls crying because they were charged with underage drinking. There were 19-year-old guys talking about wanting to hook up. There were students talking about doing acid and ecstasy. There were beer bongs and mechanical bulls.

Then there was the message behind it all—the message we’ve all heard before. Some things that happen on spring break don’t stay on the sand or in the cheap hotel room. Rape, pregnancy, STDs, criminal records — these things can follow, or haunt, a person for life.

Personally, I made spring break my chill time and went to Nashville, Tenn., for three consecutive years to indulge in live music and lots of alcohol. But last year, I went to Las Vegas. I did it right, I think. I told people I was someone who I wasn’t to get access to every VIP party I could find. I talked to drug dealers who whispered “yayyo” in my ear while they passed me on the strip, just to inquire if that sales pitch worked. I mingled with girls from Norway and guys from Australia. My friend and I found ourselves in a penthouse suite with a guy who claimed to have written numerous number one songs, gave us both brand new leather jackets and took us to a strip club in a limousine. I went with the flow, and I had the time of my life with a group of amazing friends.

Despite my antics and certain risk taking behaviors, I kept in mind that I would have to live with myself after the week was over. I remembered I had a family, a meaningful relationship and a future to preserve. I’ve written off my behavior from that week as all in good fun. But I remember all of it and take pride in the memories I have.

Have fun this spring break, people. If you’re into sex, wear a condom when, and if, you get it. If you’re into drugs, use discretion in taking them. Trip out at the beach during the day, nap it off and then hit the town refreshed and alert at night. If you’re into drinking, make sure to consume a Bloody Mary every morning to replenish vitamins and curb the hangover from the previous day. And drink some water with breakfast.

Be seduced by the mood of the week. But stay true to yourself. Protect your friends. And come back to school with memories you are proud to share with reporters looking for dirt.

Contact features reporter Darren D’Altorio at [email protected].