Ignore MTV fantasies and enjoy spring break

by Kenneth Leonard

Your spring break is probably going to be lame. This is only partially your fault. On some level, our culture is responsible for urging you to think of places such as Lake Havasu City, Ariz., Cancun and Panama City, Fla. as competitive locations to spend time. I also grew up watching MTV, so I know the deal. College students are supposed to descend into a dubstep-and-vodka-Red Bull-fueled stupor and fist pump into oblivion, right? The U.S. has spoken, and the verdict on how a college student is expected to spend spring break is in: We must act like raging douchebags on a beach or in a club or in a club on a beach, using alcohol to slaughter brain cells as if there’s no tomorrow. I mean, isn’t that what spring break is all about?

Somewhere on campus, a total bro just read these words and actually said, “Hell yeah.” He said it out loud, without irony or any kind of pretense. Listen, bro. This lack of introspection is why your spring break will be a colossal disappointment.

Every year, the gods bestow upon us mortals the most sacred gift–spring break–and too many of us squander the golden opportunity we are given. We spend our days wandering the beach or hitting up the same underwhelming types of parties. We can go to the beach any time of year, people. We live in San Diego. You can hit up any one of the repetitive parties around campus on any given weekend. Again, this is San Diego State. There will always be another party and it will always be exactly like the last thousand parties. Let’s not spend our golden week doing the same stuff we can do all semester long.

Think about it. The marketing behind spring break festivities is great, but the events never live up to the hype and very few students ever consider what other possibilities are within reach once they stop thinking just like everyone else.

So, I urge you all to force the spring break paradigm to shift away from the typical MTV spring break fantasy toward something a little more imaginative. We have the entire week to do whatever we want.

Let that sink in for a second: You. Can. Do. Anything.

Don’t be another moron in a swimsuit drinking away your boredom at the lake. Don’t be the guy or girl who succumbs to desperation and spends two-thirds of spring break worrying about that questionable hookup from your first night free of academia.

Do ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my week?” The question isn’t about what is cool, popular or normal. This is your time. Spend it how you want. Yeah, I know the Grey Goose commercials can be very convincing to some of you, but you’re not the audience I’m reaching out to. I’m talking to the people on this campus who still want to think for themselves and who aren’t afraid to carpe the hell out of some diem with their free time.

You’ve heard the expression “go big or go home.” These are wise words, my friends. However, it’s important to ask ourselves what it truly means to “go big.” If your idea of going big is fulfilling the wet dreams of corporate party sponsors by yielding to the stereotypical college spring breaker stereotypes, then you’ve got some learning to do. One can only truly “go big” on his or her own terms. Once you’ve learned this, you’ve opened the door to a truly epic spring break.

Don’t be constrained by how anyone tells you to spend spring break. If you want to get weird, now is the time. If you want to spend time at the beach, then do it because you love the beach, not because it’s what you’re supposed to do. If you want to spend spring break studying and preparing for the second half of the semester, well, that’s super weird. Have fun being a nerd, I guess.

The bottom line is this: College years are a time to define who you are on your own terms. Spring break is no exception. The only wrong way to spend spring break is wrapped up in what some kind of societal orthodoxy compels you to do. Don’t let yourself be just another person who has nothing original to say when asked how their spring break was. Set your spring break free. Go big, Aztecs.