I don't blame us. We're products of an MTV phenomenon; a generation enthralled by glossy magazine covers and the cheapest road to fame. We spent many formative years glued in front of the television, the corners of our mouths curled into stupid grins as we watched the bronzed bodies of Spring Break make ridiculous -- yet nicely toned -- asses of themselves. We wished. We yearned. We dreamt for the day when we too could cover our genitals with whipped cream, get wasted and potentially contract an unsightly rash.

Now, what I am on the verge of saying will probably cost me some friendships and will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows. But I implore you, take heed. Think twice about Spring Break this year.

In a strange, cross-seasonal sense, Spring Break is like New Year's Eve. For 51 weeks, it's built up to be the be-all, end-all of parties: a week long drinking extravaganza to top all substance binges. Nothing, we say, nothing will be better than Spring Break this year.

But ask yourself: when was the last time your New Year's Eve went off without a hitch? When was the last time you woke up at noon on January 1st and said to yourself "that, that was worth a year." This past December 31st, I flew to Paris in attempts to ameliorate the situation. Nothing, I figured, could possibly go wrong in a city known for romance and (more importantly) cheap wine. Come 12:01, I was dodging champagne bottles on the Champs-Elysees after realizing my ATM card was broken. The faces may have changed, but, my friends, the hassles were just the same.

Many of you are probably thinking: "this douche's Spring Break plans fell through and he's just bitter," or "this loser has no friends."

Both claims are well-founded: due to a series of unfortunate events, my Spring Break extravaganza didn't work out. Yet, while a "booze cruise" to exotic places with names like "Belize" and "Honduras" sounded excellent, I've had to reconsider my initial disappointment. I liked my fellow travelers well enough, and I'm almost sure they like each other. The quickest way to change that? A week long voyage in a confined space with, quite literally, no escape. Think about your past breaks. I don't care who's involved -- guys, girls, quadruped mammals -- someone's going to fight. Someone's going to cry. And inevitably, everyone's going to puke.

Somewhere between The Jerry Springer Show and Cancun, we lost sight of it all. Somewhere we forgot the meaning of a "break." Since we drink ourselves stupid and dance on the tables at Penn, the need to do it in a country where we're told to stay clear of the water is beyond me. Maybe it's about time we do ourselves a favor and plug some meaning back into "vacation." Maybe it's about time we let ourselves relax for a week. Maybe, just maybe, it's OK to forgo all chances to lose our wallets, our swimsuits and our dignities.


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