Has Spring Break Calmed Down Since the Early 2000s?

Legend has it that when spring break happens, everyone gets wild and crazy. We’re supposed to travel to exotic locales with beaches and a lower legal drinking age. We’re sup­posed to spend the nights out on the town and spend our days sleeping off hangovers. That’s what MTV taught us.

The weird thing is, for most of us, spring break involves more sweat­pants than it does wet t-shirt con­tests. We’ve strayed away from the stereotypical MTV spring break for something more relaxed.

Spring break is in the middle of the semester, meaning our responsibili­ties don’t just go away. Many stu­dents have jobs that don’t follow the University’s schedule. Plenty of professors assign papers to do over break. Even when papers aren’t assigned, there is still a great deal of reading to do because professors know that we have a week off. Who has time to do keg stands when there are three papers due the week we get back?

Relaxation is what spring break is about for most of The Outlook staff. Midterms will finally be over and we can relax. Will we be sleeping in? Definitely. Wearing sweatpants? Yes, please. Watching “Boy Meets World” marathons? Absolutely. That isn’t to say that we’re all homebodies. Some of us will definitely be going out, but we’ll be going to local hang­outs to catch up with friends from our hometowns.

Is this because we don’t watch much MTV anymore? Probably not. The partying lifestyle is still pretty emphasized on the network, and their ratings are still up. The hype has just died down. Sure it was the thing to do when it was new. How­ever, much like bellbottoms and slap bracelets, trends decrease in popu­larity over time. Why do something that has been done a thousand times before?

We also have to wonder how much of MTV’s “Spring Break” is staged. Producers probably aren’t pulling the wallflowers up on stage to partici­pate in ridiculous contests. They’re looking for whoever looks like they will be entertaining.

It’s also worth considering that MTV’s “Spring Break” was started back in the 90s when the economy wasn’t in the toilet. Going to col­lege is expensive. Really expensive. If we live off of Ramen noodles and Easy Mac, we probably can’t afford a plane ticket to anywhere we’d like. We don’t have a few thousand dol­lars to blow on a vacation that we’ll be too drunk to remember. It’s a little hard to convince parents to pay for a spring break trip when MTV has publicized the less than parent-friendly activities that happen.

If we are lucky enough to go any­where, it’s usually a family vacation. As cool as our mothers like to think they are, we aren’t bringing them to the club to do body shots.

Also, a lot of emphasis is placed on alternative spring breaks. About 20 University students will be headed to Guatemala as part of a service trip with Salud Y Paz, a nonprofit orga­nization. They will finish building a school they started to work on last year.

Even MTV has a program with United Way (a vol­unteer organization) called “Spring Fix” which is for college students who want to help with Sandy Relief. It’s a great way to contribute to a community and build your resume with just a one week commitment.

Spring break is a great opportunity for a breather. The first half of the se­mester has worn us down, and spring break is our chance to re-energize. It gives us just a taste of vacation. We get to catch up with our homework, our sleep and our social lives. We see our families and eat some home cooked meals before our return. It gets us prepared to face the rest of the semester. None of us really feel like we’re missing out on something by not going on a crazy spring break trip. We’re perfectly happy keeping our plans low key and low cost.

Whether you’re going crazy in Cancun or staying in your pajamas for an entire week, we at The Out­look hope all of you have a great spring break.