OP-EDS

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March 11, 2003

Some spring break tips

Take a look at what you're wearing right now, while I do the same. Most likely, you're attired in a sweater or sweatshirt or jeans, although if you're naked, please go put on some pants. Now, if you're feeling particularly adventurous, look at what's underneath that shirt. Is it pale, chubby, or jiggly? Don't worry, many U of C students start to feel the chub during the winter months in Chicago. After all, is it reasonable to expect students here to maintain their GPAs; combat the snow, slush, and ice; hook up a decent amount; and flatten their abs? I don't think so.

But salvation is just around the corner: that's right, Spring Break. While many people go home or stay in Hyde Park for spring break, other more adventurous and less cash-starved students travel the world in hopes of letting loose with thousands of strangers. This year, destinations run the gamut, from the sophisticated (London); to the less sophisticated (Miami); to the get drunk, party all night long with frat boys (Cancun). Even though spring break is just one week, the memories (or nightmares) of it will live on for the rest of your college years. If you're unlucky, the trip will be documented pictorially and then you and everyone else will know about the time you danced on top of a bar with a thong (not your own) on your head.

Keeping with the Dos and Don'ts theme of prior articles of mine, I thought it would be best to arm every student heading off to Hedonism II with a few pieces of advice that should, theoretically, maximize the fun and minimize the humiliation.

Do make sure to tan beforehand if you're going someplace warm. On the first day of vacation, your bronzed skin will stand out and say, "I am naturally tan and sexy," in comparison to all of your pasty friends.

Don't promise your girlfriend/boyfriend that you'll call everyday. You know you won't, and the Mexican hotel phone lines are ridiculous (we tried for two hours last year until a call was finally completed). Instead, promise to try and e-mail or say "I'll be thinking about you the whole time."

Do learn the local language. Knowing a few words past "hola" and "gracias" will get you far; you won't get ripped off as much and you may be able to score with a local, if that's your thing.

Don't give that high school boy hitting on you a second glance. The minute he finds out you're in college, he's going to try extra hard to score with you so he can impress all his buddies. Usually, the high schoolers frequent the big clubs/bars in Mexico and the Carribbean, so be on the lookout.

Do always put the toilet seat down if you're in a coed room. Women do not want to fall in the toilet when they're hung over. Plus, if you're looking to commit any kind of room-cest, this makes you look more considerate.

Don't expect everyone in your view to be gorgeous and out of a magazine--although one of my friends does say that anything is better than the U of C. Be prepared to see some flub, chub, and hair on the men and women of your locale. Maybe that's why spring breakers drink so much...

Don't go to crazy spring break destinations if you're attached. If you do, you probably won't come back attached. If you choose to hit up Panama City or Cancun sans your baby, go with other attached friends. There is strength in numbers, plus your group of committed chicas will be more down for chill activities, that don't involve getting drunk and felt up by Phi Delts from Nebraska.

Do take advantage of any weird diseases you may get in your tropical destinations, it may help you lose weight. The water made me sick in Mexico and I dropped ten pounds of my winter chub. However, there are a lot of other diseases you may get that you probably don't want to have, like gonorrhea, hepatitis, and chlamydia. Be sure to avoid the skeezy dude at the bar who's sharing his drink (and maybe a bit more) with every chick in sight.

So there you have it, a veritable guide to acing your spring break. Just remember, what goes on during bpring break, stays in spring break, and avoid cameras at all costs.