Avoid the danger zone this spring break

As we’re in the home stretch of this semester, students have their countdowns ready for spring break. Whether they plan on setting off on some tropical adventure, lending a hand working on a community service project or just staying with family, spring break can be a time of memories and relaxation for anyone.

 While we’d like to think that this week of free time is all fun and games, the shocking statistics tell otherwise. Unfortunately, spring break isn’t always as fun as anticipated, specifically when traveling with other college students to party. 

When traveling in general, you’re always given the same advice: be careful, travel in groups and be aware of your surroundings. However, traveling with other college students raises the risk of danger because of alcohol consumption, use of drugs and sex.

According to DoSomething.org, students on spring break consume at least 10 alcoholic drinks per day as opposed to the average six drinks per week during the academic year. 

As college students, there is always this stigma that we party too hard and drink too much which may be true for some. We just want to have a good time, right? The statistics, however, show that partying may slowly be unraveling from a good time to life or even death situations.

On spring break, I understand that everyone wants to relax, let loose and have a little fun, but where is the line drawn? And that is not to say that alcohol is the only reason this short vacation may prove to be dangerous. Sure, alcohol impairs your judgment and lowers your inhibitions but peer pressure, on top of drugs and wanting to fit in can also cause someone to seriously get hurt. 

Traveling to foreign places can be a danger in itself. You are not familiar with your surroundings, you may or may not be able to trust the new people you meet, and certain laws may even be different. Not to mention people may take notice you are younger and not from the area and could possibly take advantage of that. 

Kidnappings like that of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005 and robberies of tourists happen all the time and it’s sad, but it’s the reality.

The nightlife may also bring you some new friends as well. Meeting new people from around the world can be so interesting. You can swap stories and create friendships and maybe even spark a little romance. However, being on spring break and feeling like you have no worries can possibly lead to you taking home a little more than you bargained for after the week is up. 

Last year the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point conducted a study about spring break and the danger of STDs. Twenty-six percent of males and nearly 36 percent of females failed to use a condom during sex with someone they met on spring break. That puts you and your partner(s) at risk for infection and disease. Also worth noting, about 48 percent of men and women who had sex under the influence on spring break regretted the experience.

Things like over -consumption of alcohol and drugs, and unprotected sex happens regularly on college campuses. But being in a carefree, party atmosphere heightens the probability for something dangerous to happen to you or someone you know. 

You can still have fun with your friends and have a memorable experience, but be mindful of your actions, the actions of others, and overall the consequences.