Every year when spring break rolls around, college students are prompted with a similar question: “What are you doing for your break?” In the following weeks, when the nation’s schools take a brief hiatus, the same people who ask that question are treated to headlines that read “Watch this idiotic spring break bro jump into a shark-infested pool,” or “Viral video shows spring break ‘chaos’ at Port Aransas.” But the truth is, there are college students who do not have the means or desire to party their break away at a foreign location.
It is our belief that sensational stories, like those above, help feed into perceptions that college students are rowdy, entitled and generally disconnected from the realities of the world. Couple these stories with depictions of spring break in movies like “22 Jump Street” or “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” and one can easily see how this notion is perpetuated.
While we acknowledge that movies like these do depict what spring break is like for some, they definitely do not represent spring break for every college student. To our knowledge, there has not been a movie made about college students who went home to work at a fast-food restaurant or tend bar for their spring break.
It is also important to note that not everyone takes a trip on spring break to be inebriated for seven-straight days. There are plenty of student groups that take trips for educational or volunteer purposes, too. Student groups from the University of Idaho and Howard University in Washington, D.C., exemplify this. The students from the University of Idaho volunteered their time at a refugee center in Twin Falls, Idaho. The group from Howard University stopped in locations like Flint, Michigan, to help residents who are still struggling after revelations about the city’s water system in 2014.
While it is awesome that some have the opportunity to travel and spend their breaks getting rowdy, it stops being awesome when these individuals become representatives of college students in general. Plenty of students need to support themselves financially, catch up on school work or would just rather be sedentary during their breaks. College students, like many other things in life, do not always fit their perceived mold.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and are not representative of The Slate or its staff as a whole.