In the last few hours before it’s finally all over–at least for a week–Bwog defends drunkenly doing nothing in a place without Antarctic temperatures but with real bars.
I’m going to Cancun for spring break. It’s a simple enough sentence, but every time I share with friends or with a class what my plans are next week, there’s a combination of genuine enthusiasm, snide commentary, and inevitable comparisons. Most of the time, I mumble the final destination or just substitute a generic “Mexico,” hoping to mitigate the cliche just a bit. I was even tempted to directly lie and say that I was going with family, not with a friend my age. In my entire class, I was the only one who blatantly admitted to be taking a traditional vacation: no work, no home, no assignments, no service projects, no week-long internships.
There’s an overwhelming sense of self-conscious derision at Columbia surrounding the traditional spring break: we all see the photo albums on our news feeds of high school friends who have commandeered an entire hotel in Puerto Vallarta with the rest of their college, and are steadily getting drunker and drunker and oranger and oranger. Then we laugh at them and the cliche they’re supporting. Hell, I’m laughing at them — as I’m packing my bathing suits and shorts that haven’t seen the light of day in months. Many of my friends are having relatively relaxing breaks as well; but just as many are spending this week training for a leader position over the summer, or volunteering, or working at their home-town job, or just being really busy. The alternative spring break movement is proof that people want to do something useful with their time off, which is a fantastic impulse that I am far too tired and self-centered to mimic. Maybe my reaction is so strong because this itself is a first for me: I’ve spent all of my spring breaks either at home, with family, or at home with family, until this year. Ironically enough, my parents were the ones positively pushing me towards this ridiculously self-indulgent trip, which definitely helps a little with the automatic guilt of not doing something “improving.”
I’m well aware that I’m living the cliche (and let’s be real, I’m one of the last people at this school you would picture when you think “college spring break in Cancun”). I’m also well aware that I’m not going to be doing anything of meaning or value for the next seven days, and will most likely not even start my assigned reading. And I’m fucking thrilled. Let the summer be where we give our lives to resume-building activities in the full knowledge and acceptance that we’re doing so — but what harm will a week taken just for yourself do? And yes, the only reason I’m even able to defend spring break is because I’m lucky enough to be able to take this trip. I’m going to choose to take it without the layers of self-awareness and triple sarcasm we regularly use when we’re having fun, or doing something for ourselves.
But too serious already: I’ll get back to you when I’m sunburned, hungover for the next week, and have a “VIVA MEXICO” tattoo emblazoned on my back.
Decisions via Shutterstock