I’ve always liked the idea of spring break.
However, in middle school and high school, I endured the same monotonous spring break activity every year – the national home school basketball championships in sunny, tropical Oklahoma City.
Granted, I always had fun, but OKC in March is infinitely more unpleasant than any other time of the year. It’s cold, it’s rainy and it’s windy. On top of all that, I was really a sub-par basketball player.
On the rare occasion that I was put into the game, my top priority was to not screw up. Unfortunately, that rarely happened. In eighth grade, I was awarded the Christian Character award. My mom said it meant I had a good attitude. What it really meant was I was the worst player on my team.
So this year, I decided to have a real spring break.
I’m afraid of sharks and drug cartels, so Cancun has never really appealed to me. I twist my ankle walking on flat pavement, and I get cold easily, so skiing was out of the question.
So this year, my roommates and I are going to see the Texas Rangers’ spring training in Surprise, Ariz. It’s the perfect spring break.
Unfortunately, there is a stark and startling reality about spring break – college students do dumb things, especially guys. A study from the University of Michigan found that 29 percent of men plan on getting drunk over spring break, and 18 percent of women have the same ambitions.
The study also reported that students who went on spring break trips were four-times as likely to engage in binge drinking. Although, I wouldn’t think spring break campaigns would fall under the same “spring break trip” category.
Freshmen are even worse. The survey of 651 students found that 31 percent of first-year students admitted to binge drinking.
The study also found women are more likely to plan ahead to avoid risky behavior.
So here’s the deal: We have a responsibility to hold each other accountable. This doesn’t mean students who are of legal age shouldn’t drink. It just means we should encourage one another to be responsible.
Looking out for each other may seem cliché and paternal, but the study reported that those who make plans to be safe and discuss them in advance are less likely to do dumb things.
So whether you’re doing something awesome, like going to the beach or mountains, or something lame, like going to Oklahoma, have fun and be smart.