For parents, the end of the winter holiday break means a return to school for the youngsters and a much-needed break. However, for teachers and students, the return to school means something very different. The second semester of the year can be an exciting time. For college students, it involves new classes, new instructors, and more opportunities. The pinnacle of the spring semester is the much-anticipated Spring Break.
Spring Break has become almost synonymous with culture in the United States. Even those who are not in college can feel pressured to take part in the festivities of a local university or community college. The revelry in the air is palpable. However, there are also dark sides to this cultural celebration. While Spring Break can be a time for vacations with the family, it can also be a time when we feel pressured to engage in alcohol and substance use.
College students face some of the toughest peer pressures around the time of spring break, and the choices they make can affect their entire lives. Studies have found that students who engage in drinking during Spring Break experience consequences that far exceed the average. These same studies link those consequences to extreme drinking behaviors.
However, like any celebration, there are ways to celebrate Spring Break in a fun, safe, and sober way. Whether you are still in college or later in life, this time of the year can include lots of activities for you, your friends, and your family. Just remember your safety and health are most important in your life. Read on as we discuss what you should consider when planning a safe and sober Spring Break.
Planning a Safe and Healthy Spring Break
There are lots of popular Spring Break vacation ideas that are still safe and sober. Going to the beach is fun, as it enables you to build sandcastles with family and friends, grab food from the food stands, and watch the sunsets over the ocean. Strolling on the sands in the cool mornings and watching the sunrise are among the most beautiful ways to begin a day.
If you are looking to get off the beaten path for your spring break, going inland may be right for you. Visiting a national park, camping, hiking, and viewing the beautiful natural scenery our nation has to offer can make for a wonderful vacation experience for all ages.
One of the most important factors to consider when planning your Spring Break is safety. Obviously, none of us intend to get fall ill or get hurt on vacation, but it is important for us to plan ahead and be aware of safety preparedness. Before going on any trip, make sure to check the weather along your route and at your destination while you are there. Also, check the weather periodically for updates. Plan your clothing and supplies accordingly, and take your rain gear.
Just in case, remember to take some masks, hand sanitizer, and other supplies with you. Getting sick on vacation is no fun, and we never know when we will be in large crowds. Be aware of any state and local restrictions where you are going, and wash your hands frequently.
Avoiding Situations That Make You Feel Unsafe
There is another safety concern you need to be aware of, which is much more personal. You must be aware of the situations you are walking into. Spring Break can be a time when your friends may want to engage in non-sober activities. As an alumnus, you need to be aware of this danger and assert your own needs in the conversation.
You should never feel that you have to participate in an activity that makes you feel unsafe. Sometimes saying no can make you feel unwanted. Remember that you are wanted and supported. When you need support, our alumni network is there to encourage you as you make the right call.
Addiction Recovery in College and Beyond
College can be a difficult time for graduates of a substance abuse treatment program. National statistics show large percentages of college students have engaged in drinking and substance use. These students can face temptation everywhere they go.
One way students can have a safe, sober, and fun college experience is by attending a university with a dry campus. A dry campus means that the college is within an area where alcohol sales are prohibited or that the campus forbids all students, regardless of age, from possessing or consuming alcohol. Many college campuses also offer mental health services and addiction treatment services free of charge or at a low cost to their students.
Having a Fun Spring Break in the Great Outdoors
Spring Break offers you a chance to get out into the great outdoors once again. Our nation is crisscrossed with rivers, forests, lakes, and mountains, all protected by the National Parks and State Parks systems. These venues offer you the chance to have fun and see the wonders of the world around you. You can:
- Try fishing: Within each national park are networks of rivers, lakes, and streams teaming with wildlife. While fishing, you might see other animals in their natural habitat.
- Go for a bike ride: Remember to take your bicycles and gear with you on your great American adventure. Most parks have bicycle lanes and mountain bike trails, and some even allow you to rent a bicycle if you need to.
- Take a hike: Hiking through majestic historic battlefields, beautiful forest paths, stone mountain steps, or open plains can take your breath away with the beauty, wonder, and history of the world around us.
For college students, the spring is marked by hard work and perseverance as they work through the second half of the academic year. Spring Break brings much-needed relief for students and a relaxing break from school. However, it can also bring temptations and too often can involve alcohol and other illicit substances. As someone in recovery, you may find yourself in adverse situations in the coming months as you or friends and family engage in Spring Break festivities. When you need the help and support to keep you on the path to lifelong sobriety, look no further than your care team at Renaissance Ranch. Call us at (801) 308-8898 today to learn how we can support you.