Staying safe on spring break

Alexis Rutledge and Alexis Marvin, staff writer and spread editor

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Senior Clare Kilmartin spends time at the beach with her friends and family rather than attending parties over spring break. Students who choose to party should do it in a safe way.

Senior Clare Kilmartin spends time at the beach with her friends and family rather than attending parties over spring break. Students who choose to party should do it in a safe way.

Spring break is a time to relax, have fun and regroup, free from the stress of school. While many people spend spring break with their families, going on vacation or simply staying at home, others use the time to catch up with friends.

“I’m going to Panama City with my family and my friends,” sophomore Megan Webb said.

Other students spend the break catching up on school work, or simply getting ahead.

“I will spend spring break at home watching movies with my dad and studying for AP exams,” junior Ashley Lopez said.

Alternatively, some Northwest students use the week-long break to attend parties, which often times include drinking and the use of drugs.

In the minds of some, it is okay to go to these parties, as long as they are safe.

“I think its fine [for people to party] if they don’t drink and drive,” Webb said.

Other people are not so open-minded about these gatherings given their reputation and the risks at hand when going to them.

“I think that the worst out of everybody comes out [when partying],” Lopez said. “There is nothing wrong with it, but lately it has become more dangerous than anything. People go missing and women get raped. I believe people need to be very careful now where and who they go partying with.”

A common spring break vacation for students is renting a beach house and driving down with friends, either to simply lay out on the beach or to be free from adult supervision.

“I think if you want to party, then party hard,” senior Aida Emam said. “But if I were going to the beach I would actually want to go and be on the beach and not just party and be hungover everyday.”

Students should enjoy their break and use it as a time to relax and have some fun; however, they should do it in a safe manner. It’s not so much about the party itself as it is about how one handles themselves when they are under the influence.

“I’ve had my fair share of parties,” Emam said. “I was responsible when I did it and left parties safe and in one piece. I would do it again because we are only young once and we should enjoy it.”

There are many reasons why students would feel the desire to drink or do drugs at social events with friends. Underclassmen often feel that it is typical of high school students to party, and do so to ease the transition into a new school. However, the safety of a student and his or her friends is more important than their popularity.

“I know lots of people who do party but they do it in a safe way,” Webb said.

There is always the alternative of going to a party or going down to the beach over spring break and staying sober. It is possible to have fun without being intoxicated.

“I have partied with my close friends,” Lopez said. “They are people I trust and have known for a long time. We can still have fun without doing dangerous things.”

Students are considered ‘underage’ for a reason. The majority of high school students aren’t responsible enough to have just a drink or two and have a good time without putting themselves or those around them in danger.

Nearly 72 percent of students will have consumed alcohol by the end of high school. At such a high number, emphasis must be placed on staying safe while drinking or doing drugs rather than preventing it.

“Our society is intensely ambivalent about alcohol,” psychiatrist Eric Collins said.

If students are planning to attend a party this upcoming spring break, they should stay safe and plan to have a designated driver.

“My advice to people who want to party is just be careful who you are with,” Lopez said. “You never know who your real friends are and what their intentions are so it’s better to be cautious.”

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