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Spring Break: Youth Springs Eternal

South Padre Island, Texas. The South Texas island is one of the top Spring Break destinations and attracts students from all over the country. (Photo by Rick Gershon/Getty Images)

It’s that time of year again. A battle between students to see if they can drink more than the folks at Budweiser can produce. Yes, it’s springtime and students all over the country are ending their dorm room hibernation’s and heading for warm southern climes.

How Did All This Start Anyway?

As with most things, it started innocently enough, and over time got entirely out of hand. The first Spring Break was celebrated way back in 1938. It was a swim meet for 300 students held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Around 1959 college students of the 60’s discovered sex, drugs and rock and roll, Ft. Lauderdale became Ft. Liquordale, mostly due to local bars selling all you could drink beer for $1.50.

By 1985, alcohol on beaches and the then fledgling MTV was banned due to the uncontrollable hormones of our promising college youth. Local authorities arrested 2,500 of them and the Mayor announced that college students were no longer welcome in Ft Lauderdale.

Spring Break was also greatly popularized by the movie, “Where the Boys Are” that was released in 1960. Ironically, Delores Hart, the lead, left acting to become a nun. Connie Francis sang the hit title song.

Ft. Lauderdale Out, Panama City Beach In

The alcohol ban and crack down by police made Lauderdale a pretty boring place so students switched to Panama City Beach, Florida. Currently about half a million students will overload 18,000 hotel rooms and party nonstop for a week or so.

As you can imagine these students do not show up on the beach broke. They will spend over $1billion during their spring break binges. This amount of money is not lost on the likes of Victoria Secret, The US Army, Banana Boat, Maxim Magazine, Geico, and XBOX. There are tons of contests, giveaways and other activities designed to embed the brand names into the numb minds of spring breakers.

News Flash: Too Much Alcohol Leads to Poor Decision Making

To say the police are busy during spring break would be a major understatement. Sixty percent of the arrests are just inappropriate behavior and I’ll just leave that to your own imagination. Poor decision-making also leads to self-inflicted injuries both sober and/or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Lowered inhibitions account for 50% of students that have random, unplanned, and unprotected sex.

Some Final Thoughts

Obviously, the wacko’s get the press and the good kids are hardly newsworthy unless they save someone’s life. I often wonder if my parents wished Roe v. Wade had come along a little sooner because I was far from being the ideal kid.

But in hindsight, I didn’t turn out so bad in the long run. I think for the most part our kids are basically pretty good. Not every decision is the right one but that’s how all of us learned.

So enjoy spring break, buy alcohol stock, — spring is just around the corner.

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