Make Spring Break a Memorable, Safe Experience
Kyle Florence
kflor654@uwsp.edu

In the upcoming weeks, many University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point students will join the 1.5 mil­lion students nationwide traveling to warmer destinations over spring break. Though many have taken extra care to make sure they don’t forget sunglasses, flip-flops and other essen­tials, it is likely that few have recently double-checked their privacy settings on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

It is becoming more common for these checks to become a routine. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com, up to 37% of all employers regularly view prospec­tive employee’s social media sites before making a hiring decision. For students, this statistic serves as a grim reminder: what happens on spring break doesn’t necessarily stay there.

Devan Tomchek, a senior graphic design major, explained that even with these risks, spring break is an event that she wouldn’t miss.

“I went to Panama City Beach last year for spring break, had an amazing time hanging out with friends and meeting new people and want to do it one last time before I graduate,” Tomchek said. “Waking up every day and getting to drink on a beach doesn’t hurt either.”

According to Tomchek, social media will not inhibit her behavior on spring break.

“Most of the people I will be tak­ing pictures with are smart enough to know not to put the extremely unappealing ones up. Worse comes to worse, you’re wearing sunglasses most of the time anyway, so if for some reason you need to, just deny it’s you in the picture,” Tomchek said.

Josh Hames, a UWSP senior who will also be returning to Panama City Beach this year, had a similar opinion.

“I will make sure that I know who is taking my picture and using it,” Hames said. “Most pictures of me will be taken from my camera or a friend’s camera, and I can have a say in what happens to those pictures.”

Conversely, not all students share these apprehensions. Cody Lenz, a UWSP junior traveling to Panama City Beach for the first time, main­tains a more laidback outlook.

“I’m not worried about pictures. I plan on going hard, so if someone feels as if I’m doing something that’s worth taking a picture of—what do I care?” Lenz said.

Aside from social media, alcohol consumption is another con­cern facing students spending their spring break outside of Wisconsin. According to the Journal of American College Health, during spring break the average male reported drinking up to 18 drinks per day, while the average female consumed roughly 10. Nearly half continued to consume alcohol until they got sick or passed out at least once.

Still, Hames is confident that this will not be an issue.

“We will all make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and alternate alcohol with water to make sure we don’t get too drunk,” Hames said.

Again, Lenz has vied for a more laidback approach.

“I plan on taking little precau­tions on my drinking other then eat­ing ahead of time,” Lenz said.

Regardless of outlook, Tomchek offered those planning to spend their spring break out-of-state with a piece of advice.

“Spring break is meant to be a fun time with friends—don’t ruin your entire future by being an idiot for one week,” Tomchek said.