by NAOMI HARRIS
Within the next two days, the University will officially close campus as students either go home or to another destination for spring break. So what do college students do between through March 15th to March 22nd?
By the looks of Hollywood or MTV many might say Florida or Mexico for a week full of drinking, sex and unforgettable nights. But where did this perception of spring break truly start?
The movie came out during the winter and inspired large numbers of college kids to head over to Florida, especially with new specials on beer for $1.50.
By 1985, more than 370,000 students were traveling to Fort Lauderdale and other spots were growing in numbers as well.
This new age for an intense week of beach bound fun is expressed even now. Movies like 22 Jump Street or Spring Breakers show the supposed ins and outs of spring break for college students.
Is this reality for University of Maryland students? For some students spring break offers a breather from school.
“I had maybe one friend who went to Cancun and they were loaded,” said Ph.D. student Dustin Cranford, who plans on visiting family.
“But that was it, everyone else just goes home,” he went on to say. “Spring break is rest and even if you go out have a good time you still want to sit and watch TV.”
Location, like your living room couch, is key when it comes to discussing spring break. There are still a good amount of college students who do experience the televised version of spring break.
According to a survey posted by Online Schools, each year about 500,000 students visit Panama City, 150,000 visit South Padre Island and 100,000 visit Cancun.
“I think it depends on where you go,” said sophomore communications Emily Costa about the party perception of spring break.
“Like if you go to Panama City then definitely but I have a lot of friends who are just staying at home or doing things with their family.”
There’s not only a history behind the concept of spring break and notable locations but also the portrayal students see while growing up. For example, MTV started documenting annual spring break events up until they ended the series in the early 2000s.
Two years ago, Spring Breakers hit theaters and dramatized the appeal of this glorified holiday. In the movie, a fun party turned into a twisted nightmare as four college girls get acquainted with a drug dealer.
“I grew up on that and so that’s what I expected for spring break to be and then when I actually experienced spring break it was quite the contrary,” said public policy grad student, Seanniece Bamiro about spring break specials like MTV.
“I just wanted to sleep or do homework and get ahead towards finals and stuff.”
Regardless of what the perception of college spring break evolves to, it always boils down to giving students a break. For Bamiro, she will be taking a service trip to Ferguson and help the community. Costa will be going down to Florida with her mom.
Whether it’s flying down with friends to party it up at Fort Lauderdale or sleeping in till one, spring break is simply a break.