All week students heard to make good choices and to know boundaries. While this usually results in many students tuning out, the advice and approach of this year’s Making Choices Week has served as a reminder of safe thinking before spring break more than a preachy list of do’s and don’ts.
About 400 students will be part of Spring Break Campaigns. Others will go home, stay in Abilene or travel to other destinations. There are helpful tips for any student to consider before the break.
Steve Rowlands, director of University of Counseling Center, said there are more things to consider than the much-talked-about topics of sex and alcohol.
When thinking about spring break, Rowlands asked students to think about their actions instead of trying to give a list of what not to do.
Three points he made were to: think before you do, ask what your choice will look like the next day, and ask if it is worth the cost right now.
Another point of concern for everyone before spring break is sleep. ACU has lost students to car accidents caused by people falling asleep at the wheel.
“We have lost a lot of kids falling asleep at the wheel,” Rowlands said. “It’s similar to driving while intoxicated.”
College students become accustomed to low amounts of sleep at school, but on the road, students should try to be well rested before a long trip or have someone to trade driving duties with, which Police Chief Jimmy Ellison said reduces the chance of falling asleep dramatically.
While Rowlands and the Counseling Center have focused on making healthy choices this week, Ellison’s advice focuses more on planning.
“I think of things chronologically,” Ellison said. “You have to get in your car, drive it to where you’re going, and then arrange for where you will stay.”
For students who are traveling during spring break, checking your vehicle before leaving is an easy way to avoid potential breakdowns on the road. Ellison said once at your destination, you should think with safety and common sense.
“Have a plan before you go out,” Ellison said. “Use the buddy system.”
Rowlands agreed with Ellison, saying safety doesn’t have to be a chore but an easy thing that can help with overall safety.
“It’s about going places at safe times in safe ways,” Rowlands said. “Tell others where you are going.”
While some of the advice sounds like most any parent, Rowlands and Ellison acknowledge that not all students will heed their advice.
“We’re not trying to be their parents,” Rowlands said. “We just want all of us to think about what we’re doing and the consequences [good or bad] it can have.”