Editorial: Be smart during spring break


Spring break

Editorial Board

Spring break is finally only days away. While some students might stay in Ames or return home for the upcoming week off, many more will leave the state — or even the country — in search of the type of fun that Iowa just can’t provide them. Even though this fun might come in the form of parties, alcohol (if you’re of legal age) and questionable decision-making, it’s important to not let “kicking back and letting go” devolve into “embarrassing yourself at the cost of others.”

It understandably might not feel like it as you’re kicking back on the beach in Florida, but thousands of people live in popular spring break destinations full time, and they deserve a level of respect as you pass through for the week.

The stories of out-of-towners absolutely trashing the cities they visit during their week off from school are profuse in number, and it’s important to remember that while you might not have to stick around to clean up after yourself, someone else does. Respect the cities you visit and the people who still live there after you’re gone – it’ll make a difference.

Speaking of locals, they deserve your courtesy as well. From hotel staff to store owners and law enforcement to private citizens, it’s a more raucous weekend for everyone, and it probably isn’t the best idea to find yourself on their bad side.

Don’t let the stereotypical spring break mentality of constant partying and fun descend into screaming at strangers (or the people you came with) or acting irresponsibly for no reason at all. Confrontation is way less fun than doing all the actual fun things you traveled out of state to do, anyway.

Finally, be smart. Getting arrested in a different state — or worse, another country — is not the way anyone wants to spend their spring break, but it happens. In Orange Beach, Alabama, last year, the combination of increased law enforcement presence and more spring breakers than usual taking advantage of Alabama’s lack of laws governing alcohol use on beaches led to an 800 percent increase in arrests from the year before. It’s a good idea in general to not let this be you, but it’s especially important when you’re far from home.

Spending your spring break on vacation is a privilege, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the best week of the year. Be safe, be respectful and remember: you’re college students, and more importantly, representatives of Iowa State. Have a fun and fulfilling week off.