Free-flowing alcohol, raging on the beach and boobs everywhere … literally everywhere. This is every college student’s dream. This is Spring Break. It is the one week out of the year when losing your dignity and class is socially acceptable, and somewhat expected. Whether you stay in I.V. (where it’s basically Spring Break every week) or make your way to Mexico or Panama City Beach for some traditional Spring Break festivities, you’re guaranteed some crazy stories and fun memories. However, with great fun comes great responsibility. When combining heavy drinking and large quantities of attractive, but belligerent college students, it’s important to be alert and aware so that your Spring Break experience doesn’t turn sour. Wouldn’t you rather come home with a nice tan rather than a not-so-nice rash?
Hooking up on Spring Break can be exciting and sexy for many reasons. The most obvious being that you will most likely never see the person ever again. The aroma of boxed wine, cigarette smoke and lack of commitment has a certain appeal to it. While these spontaneous affairs can be exhilarating and fun, it’s important to keep your wits about you. I learned this the hard way. Last year during Spring Break, I went on a trip to Panama City Beach, Florida (aka Spring Break capital of the world) with a group of my friends from Texas. I knew it would be an insane trip, and I couldn’t wait. The first couple of days were a blast. I was the perfect amount of drunk to enjoy the utter chaos that is PCB, yet still coherent and functioning. On our third day there, I drank way too much at the beach. I don’t remember how or when I got back to my hotel, but I woke up on a lawn chair on our hotel balcony. After waking up completely disoriented, and still hammered, my friends and I continued to drink in order to get ready for the bars. Pretty much everything that happens after that is extremely blurry. I apparently decided to take a shower after already having my hair and makeup done, and when I got out of the shower, there was a group of German students in my hotel room. I know, completely random. Turns out these guys were our hotel neighbors, and my friends had invited them over to pregame with us. In my intoxicated state, I struck up somewhat of a conversation with one of the guys that I thought was attractive (I say somewhat because he didn’t really speak English, and I could barely form sentences). After a very short amount of time, I ended up bed with him, and I have very little recollection of what happened. The only thing I remember is making him put on a new condom every three minutes because I was so scared that we weren’t using one. If I couldn’t even be aware enough of the fact that we were using protection, there is absolutely no reason why I should have been having sex.
After sobering up and realizing what I had done, I felt horrible. I had never had a sexual experience like that, and I was completely disappointed in my actions and judgment. I knew it was completely irresponsible and dangerous to get that drunk, but I did it anyway. Had I been more aware of my actions, I never would have slept with someone who was basically a stranger while completely belligerent. I knew I had no one to blame except myself. Even though I was much too drunk to be making the choice to have sex, he was as well, and we both willingly engaged in the act. It was a poor decision fueled by a lack of rational thought. After finding out that we did for sure use protection, I felt much better about the situation, but still disappointed. I began to realize that something much worse could have happened. Every year, horrible assault and rape stories emerge on the news from Spring Break. Just this past year, at the same location that I was at, a girl was raped by a group of guys on a public beach in front of a ton of students. The horrible crime was even filmed by cowardly, idiotic kids. The girl was completely unconscious as she was assaulted and violated. While the rape was 100 percent the fault of the rapists, the fact that other students didn’t intervene in the situation due to their partying and alcohol consumption is absolutely asinine. As sad as it is, our society has perpetuated this idea that rape is “normal” or “acceptable.” Rather than helping, people aimlessly watched and ignored a cruel act committed against a clearly vulnerable person in need. It is truly sad that we live in a society that promotes teaching women “how to not be raped or assaulted,” rather than teaching others to simply “not rape or assault.” However, until that changes, it is important to not make yourself even more vulnerable to those unthinkable acts, whether you’re male or female.
Being uncontrollably intoxicated is neither safe nor fun for many reasons. For one, you may make a regrettable and scary decision such as I did, or, you may lose valuable intuition and defenses that can help protect you when facing a threatening situation. Secondly, sex is so much better when you feel comfortable, secure and certain. Trust me. Spring Break is supposed to be one of the best weeks of the year, so know your limits, party hard and make the most of it. Oh, and as tempting as beaded necklaces can be, don’t flash your boobs for Snapchat. Those pictures will haunt you.