2002’s Top 10 spring break lessons

2002s Top 10 spring break lessons

by Matt Morain

The week following spring break, or “recovery week”, as it’s known to some, is here. With it comes the accumulation of snippets of wisdom from those who experienced the ups and downs of spring break, the hard way.

Here I offer you a concise compendium of compiled counsel on the proper spring break do’s and don’ts. An etiquette guide to vacationing in college, assembled from a variety of tales from various trips, to make your next year better than the previous.

1. Most of the people you see on spring break will never see you again, nor will you see them. This provides an opportunity to throw your humility into the bottomless pit of anonymity. Prompt complete strangers to do things you wouldn’t normally ask anyone to do: request them to shave their eyebrows for money, ask to throw lunchmeat at them for a dollar, and the like.

2. Pick economy locations every other year to ensure that you will be able to pay for your education when you return from your dream destination. Take a day trip to the Dutch Amana Colonies, float down the Missouri or Mississippi rivers in an inner tube, or set up a pup tent in your living room and camp out under the ceiling fan (you can even invite your mom).

3. No matter where you decide to go, drive. You’ll save money and the 15 or 20 hours you spend in the car with the same people will help you to strengthen your bonds. Or you’ll end up killing one of the passengers somewhere off the Kansas Turnpike for calling out everything written on a sign in a grating, high-pitched voice. If this is the case, you’ll have more legroom for the rest of the ride. Either way, you come out a winner.

4. Feel free to use the vernacular of the region you visit. A friendly “y’all” in Texas, an apathetic “dude” in California, or a somber “we are not allowed to have fun in this state” in Utah can be ways to help you blend in with the locals.

5. Take care to observe any hot feuds presently active in your vacation destination. Knowing which side to take will save you time, harassment, and quite possibly limbs. Also, do not acquire an alias, just to set off a conflict. Potentially volatile examples of people not to claim as identities: a Palestinian in Israel, a Catholic in Northern Ireland, or a Hatfield at a McCoy family reunion.

6. Budget your money in advance. There’s nothing like forced labor in the back of a Mexican kitchen just to get enough money to return home after hasty spending.

7. Everybody will have at least one interesting story to tell when they get back. Some will have many more that will put yours to shame. Bide your time for when you go on an exotic trip. Don’t concoct tales of subduing a rabid chinchilla at a wild Guadalajaran Roman orgy while being knighted by the King of Jordan just to impress your friends. Complex stories have many holes, and if discovered a liar, you risk ostracization, ridicule, or being beaten with pillowcases filled with bars of soap.

8. Bring back a souvenir to remember your wonderful trip. However, try not to make it something permanent that you’ll regret later (i.e., a tattoo of Bea Arthur, a new spouse, or worse, Bea Arthur herself with a new tattoo of you).

9. The native inhabitants of the Never Never Land you visit are accustomed to having saps like you pour through all the time. Do not put on airs of superiority and attempt to haggle prices as if you’ve lived in Valhalla all your life. It is far better to bring extra money in anticipation of losing it, than to sacrifice your good time in an attempt to save a few drachmae.

10. Finally, although you and your friends will accumulate oodles of stories, some stories are better left untold (like the one about you and the chicken with your buddy and the camera). You never know when those stories will come back to haunt you, so you might as well not act as a catalyst for the process of embarrassment.