College students are looking for a more memorable Spring Break these days – literally. Young adults are participating in activities that are healthier for the mind, body and soul, like volunteering to clean up Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in New Orleans instead of stumbling down Bourbon Street, or visiting orphanages in Mexico instead of downing margaritas on the beach. Spring Break is now an opportunity to get out and actually do something.
It’s important to realize that this is the time of our life to take charge and show people that young adults do care more about having a week off than to just get a head-start on a tan. By breaking the norms, we’re proving to the world that we aren’t “Generation Me;” we’re “Generation We.”
I applaud students who choose to do something proactive with their time off, instead of sitting around their parents’ house or spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars on a vacation they most likely won’t remember. MTV has even toned down the party-like atmosphere and features alternative solutions to partying on mtv.com. It’s about time.
College students know and understand what’s going on in this world more now than ever before. We have more freedom and resources than past generations, so it would make sense that we would do something with them. Students watch when things happen to our country, like Hurricane Katrina, and instead of sending money to Red Cross, they are going to do something about it. Some colleges have “alternate Spring Break” clubs and programs, and even if Eastern doesn’t, now is a great time to implement a whole new attitude about getting time off from class.
A group of Seattle University students are helping migrant farmers in Tri-Cities; UW students are volunteering at rural Washington elementary schools to teach poetry and a group of students from Central Washington University are building houses in Tijuana, Mexico, through Habitat for Humanity.
If you can’t leave the area for Spring Break, there are plenty of opportunities to help around here. Elementary and middle schools offer programs inviting college students to tutor, and now is the perfect chance to explore job fairs or potential internships. Even if it’s small, at least you’ll feel like you did something productive during that week.
Of course, students are going to take advantage of the time off and let loose, but it should be less of a priority. We have the rest of our lives to get drunk – why not make a difference while you’ve got the time?