Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Break: Is It Too Good To Be True?

Three more days until spring break! I think that we are all in agreement that we need a week to relax and escape from the stresses of school. Don’t let loose yet; you can party all you want over spring break. We just need to buckle down for a few more days, followed by a week of relaxation and freedom. Proceeding this is simply grinding out six to seven weeks of quality learning.

My sociology 220 class yesterday was discussing the social problems that go along with spring break. When my teacher mentioned the topic, I wondered where the problem could possibly be. I tried to keep an open mind and find the social problem of spring break. Only then did I find the issue that made it a social problem. It’s not spring yet! It’s 25 degrees today… just 3 days before spring break. There are schools on spring break right now. But it’s still winter.

My professor continued the lecture in a different direction than my imagination. He mentioned the increase of rapes, spread of STD’s, and violent crimes during spring break. I thought that this was obvious, seeing as it is a 7 day party for college students. I was questioning when the learning would take place in this class session.

Then he talked about sociologists’ different views on spring break. One view was why we have spring break in the first place. The schools grant us spring break in hopes to reduce partying and improve grades. There is less partying right before spring break because we all know that all we have to do is work hard up until spring break. Spring break comes around, and we leave campus and go to Florida, Mexico, or anywhere but school. Put differently, we get out of the school’s jurisdiction and party like we’re actually celebrating something. Then we come back to school, eager to learn. On spring break, we aren’t the school’s problem.

It makes sense. The school gives us a break for us to get away and bring our problems, alcohol, and loud music elsewhere. Are we really the ones who get a break or is it the school?

I bet that as soon as we all caravan off to our spring break destinations, the university staff creep out of their offices. They get all dressed up. They dye their gray hair. They pick up their dates. They put in their beach boys cd, and turn up the stereos in their cars and cruise the streets of Purdue without all of these rascal college students. Unbeknownst to us, while we think that we’re having the time of our lives on spring break, the administrators and university staff are probably having more fun than we are.

This had me wondering one more thing. Why do college students party so much? I mean, traditionally, parties are designed for celebration; birthday parties, graduation parties, bar mitzvahs. But seriously, what happens every week that we need to party every weekend; one, two, or even 3 or 4 times. You must have a lot to celebrate. Either that, or your minor accomplishments are exaggerated. “I think I might get an A in this class… lets party tonight!” “I ran all of the way to campus and was not out of breath… let’s party this weekend.” Or, “Hey, we just made it through one difficult week; full of partying and getting wasted… we should let loose and party to celebrate this accomplishment!”

Most of that wasn’t mentioned in my sociology class. However, It seemed distantly relative.

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