College Q&A: What’s The Deal With Spring Break?
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I’m a Freshman and my first ever college spring break is coming. All of my friends want to do this Cancun trip (everyone we know is going), but it’s really expensive. I want to go away with all of them, but I don’t know if its worth the money. Is this the kind of thing I “can’t miss out on” like they all say?
How close are you to these friends? If these are just social friends, you might want to rethink it. Some trips sound like they will be epic, but the excitement ends up fizzling out by the end of the next week. I say save the money for more important things right now (books, college tuition, food) and then splurge on this trip after you graduate (or maybe a different milestone in your life). It may sound far away, but sometimes, trips like this are not necessary. Sure it will be fun, but a week of crazy partying may leave a crazy hole in your bank account. I don’t think it’s worth it at this time. I mean, think about it – if you do go, you’ll be feeling guilty the WHOLE TIME. You’ll be walking on eggshells unsure if you should buy something, cringing at the sound of eating out again, and opting out on another drinking fest, all because you don’t want to spend more than you already have to. Seriously…save this trip for when you’re ready for it. There a tons of other things to do for spring break: volunteering to build homes in rural areas, getting extra hours at your internship, starting your search for a summer job, or getting some much needed rest while everyone else is killing themselves in Cancun.
Go, go, GO!! Freshman year is the time to Cancun it up for Spring break. Come your junior year, you really won’t have enough money or time to be heading out for a week dedicated to parking it at the pool-bar (hello, applying for internships and graduating). But for now, there should be no problem researching the best deal on a round trip ticket to one-tequila-two-tequila-floor-ville. As a senior in college, I really wish I would have taken the infamous trip with my friends to Cancun a long time ago. Now, I barely have enough money to buy a Crunch Wrap Supreme, let alone a plane ticket. Not saying that money was growing on trees when I was a Freshman, but my party drive, money, and time were a lot more accessible. Like studying abroad, Spring Break in Cancun is something people only conquer in college, and both are totally, and 100% worth it. Do you really want to be the only one to miss out on this epic bonding experience or spend the next 3 months listening to a millions stories/inside jokes you can’t contribute to? I don’t think so. Pack the sunscreen and jump on the bandwagon (or hot pink floatie) and make memories with your college friends that you won’t forget… or you will definitely forget after a few margaritas. Make sure to bring that camera.
I know this dilemma well. My friends were constantly pressuring me to go to warm, sunny locales with them for spring breaks in college, and I never once went. Beaches and swimming don’t appeal to me quite as much as they might to the average person, so that may have contributed to me turning down the invitations, but money was a big part of it, too. Those trips are expensive, girl! It’s pretty much a no-brainer that you’d have a blast with your pals if you went, but this is a pivotal time in your college career and your life in general, and you should think carefully about how you want to spend your money now. It’s great that you’re giving pause to the idea of going on this trip rather than clicking “Purchase” on Expedia right away.
With that said, I have a couple of more concrete pieces of advice. Traveling is expensive no matter where you go or when you go. So if you like to globetrot, there really isn’t any optimal time to do it (other than a time when hopping a plane won’t make you flat-out broke, I guess). I don’t know the details of your financial situation, but if you feel like you have enough cash to blow on the trip and will still be OK afterward, and you really want to go, then why not? It’ll be a really fun and memorable experience for you and your friends and might provide a great temporary break from the college atmosphere. On the other hand, there will always be the opportunity to take trips. If you’re seriously worried about your finances right now and aren’t all that into the idea of the trip in the first place (which sounds like your case), don’t feel guilty about skipping it. YOU can organize the next trip to a place where you want to go when you feel completely secure with your amount of money, and your buds can either go with you or stay. And trust me–they will stop talking about it once they return. Just give ‘em a couple weeks.