The importance of Alternative Spring Break
Alternative Spring Break is an alternate recess in which students have the opportunity to volunteer in various charity organisations or other fields of work based on community service to help contribute greatly to the society by helping them manage the community and build a safer and clean environment. The usual spring break is different in that spring break gives university and college students an opportunity to get together and spend their holiday in a favourable destination where the sun always shine and the landscape gleams bright. Such destinations are favoured for both relaxation and at the same time for a diverse range of activities like swimming, surfing, volleyball, bike riding etc. Alternative spring break gives them a more widespread way of thinking and managing their time wisely with the knowledge and experience they have gained from their university or college and apply that in any work environment. It is perceived as a more productive way to spend a holiday rather than taking the time off travelling or partying. However, travelling for the purpose of charity work will be different and consequently they are offered the liberty to explore different countries, meet new faces and learn and respect their culture. Such experiences can deem useful to them especially because they benefit a lot out of such work in the long run.
Nowadays, teenagers and young adults all over the world are reluctant to seek an occasion to fill their life with so much entertainment that they are somehow segregated from a life of hard work. Gathering of friends for spring break is certainly not against the law of any country but somehow they fall into bad habits, one that concerns girls mixing around with boys and falling into traps like illegal sex, alcohol and drug consumption and routine smoking habits. Spring breaks can thus prove detrimental and a point in life where they can potentially ruin their health. They say bad habits are hard to kick and such bad influences upon them will lead them to live a careless and dangerous life. Such behaviour cannot be risked at college at the end of spring break and hence alternate ways to improve lifestyle must be shown to teenagers and young adults in the form of Alternative Spring Break.
During this period, certain programmes, like ESP, could encourage students with negative behaviour to change their approach to life optimistically and suppress their inner darkness that had otherwise consumed them into the world of alcohol and sex. Positive development could boost their morale and determination towards studies and work. Students must be encouraged to:
- avoid smoking and heavy drinking
- prevent drug use
- avoid reckless driving
- avoid unprotected and unnecessary sexual activities
- manage and balance time for studying as well as leisure activities or sports like football, basketball, badminton, tennis, playing a musical instrument and dancing
- meditate or practise yoga
- limit their friendship and maintain a distance from everyone except their family and relatives
Often falling into bad company is the reason students develop negative character due to the bad influence and unhelpful messages inflicted Alternative Spring Break in their hearts but with the right degree of training, understanding and encouragement students are in no doubt bound to straighten up their perception of life and this will aid them in finding a meaning to their life and ultimately reaching out for their goal.
Today, adolescents, especially college students, are bombarded constantly with cultural messages like binge drinking is but a natural aspect of college experience or being part of immorality in the campus is acceptable. Such conceptions seem to support a widespread belief that all students consume alcohol, engage in illicit sex and are socially irresponsible.
Unfortunately, students enter their campuses with a wrong notion of modern education. These misperceptions must be corrected in order to make students socially more responsible and help them become role models to future generations.
A recent study, conducted by the University of Michigan, says that around 60 per cent of the 650 new college students surveyed admitted that consumption of alcohol was commonplace during Spring Break. While 24 per cent of the students hoped that they could get drunk during Alternative Spring break , though a small percentage of them wished to stay away from such revelry. As for the sexual behaviour of these students during Spring Break and other holidays, the report says, around 16 per cent consented to the idea of safe sex.
The report further found that men were more eager than women to risk socially unacceptable behaviour (29 per cent of men compared with 18 per cent of women). Similarly, four times as many men wanted to try out illicit sex with someone. As per the report, women scored high on the moral scale in terms of alcohol consumption and sex during Spring Break or on a similar occasion.
Spring Break presents a great opportunity to you to make positive choices for your own health and the wellbeing of your friends. It gives you a chance to be part of the positive and healthy decision-making process, while helping to learn about some of the dangers and risks involved in the trip. Healthy decision-making could involve safe driving and desisting from alcohol and other life-threatening drugs. The main focus should be on safe driving and health-related issues such as sexual decision-making, avoidance of harmful drugs and ways to prevent health hazards.
Here’s a statutory list, which can be of help to those who would like to have a safe and enjoyable Spring Break:
•Be honest with yourself and discuss what you expect out of Spring Break.
•Define your comfort level and boundaries with your partner.
•Be responsible and train yourself to focus on social causes while on the trip.
•Avoid abuse of alcohol.
•Driving with caution at all times.
With an effort to reduce untoward incidents involving college students during Spring Break and to address some of their risky behaviours, the US government has introduced the Event Specific Prevention [ESP] Programme. In a recently held programme, a number of students reported to have learnt something new and admitted the usefulness of information.
Students felt that the programme was very effective in giving them informed knowledge on various safety measures. They also were taught about consequences of drinking and drug abuse, besides the ways to avoid traveler’s diarrhea and unwanted sexual advances.
More than half of the students reported that they felt the event was effective at increasing their knowledge on a range of health-related topics, which they usually ignore during Spring Break.
According to some campuses in the US, the ESP programme has had a salubrious effect on reducing negative behaviours among students, while showing positive development on problems such as excessive alcohol consumption. However, lack of research documentations limits the use of ESP programme on other related behaviours, including drug abuse, which occur in events like Spring Break.