The spring break experience
For some, spring break is a time to relax and recuperate from long, painful nights of studying. For others, it’s a time to get plastered on the beach, take off all of your clothes and make mistakes with strangers you may or may not remember.
Regardless of which option is chosen, most students will agree that spring break is a much-needed separation from school.
Every year, a portion of college students return from their spring break trips with exciting tales to share. What’s interesting to think about, however, is how these experiences can vary depending on gender.
Simpson College student Ethan Hess visited Panama City Beach for his spring break trip. Like many students, he enjoyed meeting other students from across the country and sipping the occasional alcoholic beverage.
“We drank beer, went to a seafood restaurant, drank some more beer, played games on the beach, drank more beer, went to the bar,” Hess said. “That’s about it really.”
Still, what did Hess say he spent most of his trip doing? Looking after the girls in his group and preventing “extremely drunk and touchy-feely” guys from grabbing them.
“I feel like girls have to be completely defensive the entire time because if they’re just sitting on the beach with their group, there are guys constantly coming up to them the entire time,” Hess said. “One after another, whether just to talk to them or looking for beads or just doing something constantly.”
Hess said he also had trouble talking to girls while on the trip.
“You could hardly talk to a girl because they were like ‘Oh, creeper,’” Hess said. “You had to be really careful how you approached them because they were like ‘Okay, who is this person?’”
While girls have to worry about being touched, guys have equivalent troubles, Hess said.
“They’re always looking for a fight or doing something or they’re too forward with girls,” Hess said.
Simpson student Katie Sullivan, who traveled to Orange Beach, had quite a different experience during her trip. Highlights included playing drinking games, visiting members of the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon and “watching them walk around in diapers.”
Sullivan said a major difference she noticed between the men and women in her party were their daily activities.
Sullivan said that while she never felt unsafe during her trip, girls do have to worry more.
“Guys don’t have to worry about anything,” Sullivan said. “Like say they have a girlfriend, they have to worry about cheating on them. Say they have sex unprotected, but like that’s it.”
While it seems that many would rather cut off their appendages than bring their partner on a spring break trip, Simpson student Becca Mohnike chose to travel to Florida with her boyfriend.
“Instead of the constant ‘crazy party’ spring break it was more of a relaxing spring break with its moments of craziness,” Mohnike said.
Having previously gone on a spring break that was a “crazy party,” Mohnike said that while everyone has different expectations, “the general idea of spring break is mostly to enjoy the sun and drink alcohol.”
“Beyond that I think that girls may just want to do that with their girlfriends and then possibly meet a great, cute guy,” Mohnike said. “Guys may want to chill with their bro’s and try and hook up with lots of girls.”
Women must be wearier on spring break trips because they can easily be taken advantage of when alcohol is involved, Mohnike said.
Others disagree that women have to be more careful.
Simpson student Tyler Utzka, who visited Gulf Shores, said it’s not about gender but rather the decisions being made.
“You make your own problems in spring break and make your own decisions,” Utzka said. “It’s important for both [men and women] to be safe.”
One difference Utzka did see?
“Single women get free drinks easily, fact.”
So, what did we learn here? If you’re a woman on spring break, you might get a free drink; however, you must give up any rights to your body.
If you’re a man, you will more-than-likely be seen as a “creeper” before you even utter “hello” to a girl or you will get in a fight. But hey, you can always drink more to numb the pain.