Spring break is a time for fun and relaxation. It is a time when worries become lost in the wind and stress seems to swim away. As fun as spring break is, it is imperative students stay mindful of these tips to ensure a good time, responsibly.
1. Stay hydrated
Whether students find themselves floating down the San Marcos river or crowd surfing in South Padre Island, it is important to stay hydrated. Chances are, the Texas sun will not show mercy. It is crucial for students to drink plenty of water while outside.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of dehydration include thirst, fatigue, dizziness and confusion. Dehydration from heat can result in heat strokes and heat exhaustion.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat solids with high water content before spending time in the sun.
2. Stick with a budget
Before making plans to road trip across the country, students should budget their finances to prevent overspending.
There are many apps available to help with budgeting while on break. Gas Buddy is perfect for road trips. By putting in a location, the app tracks the nearest gas stations with the cheapest gasoline prices.
Those looking for ways to save up for a vacation should consider using Qapital. This app allows users to retain money for a specific goal or trip by transferring money out of their bank account into a space created solely for their travels.
Additionally, students should consider bringing their student ID on trips, just in case there are student discounts at attractions and restaurants.
3. Pack Smart
It is best for students to plan their outfits beforehand to prevent packing their entire wardrobe.
Mikayla Friedman, fashion merchandising sophomore, said it is best to pack pieces that are interchangeable.
“Although it’s nice to have options, what isn’t nice is not wearing everything you pack,” Friedman said.
Friedman encourages students to pack clothing relatively simple, as well as accessories to help spice up an outfit.
“Accessories are your best bet if you want to pack light,” Friedman said.
Friedman recommends Forever 21 for affordable accessories convenient for any occasion or outfit, like earrings and sunglasses.
“Get cheap sunglasses and accessories you wouldn’t mind losing or breaking for spring break,” Friedman said.
When it comes to swimsuit apparel, Friedman recommends shopping at Aerie.
“Aerie has really cute body-positive ad campaigns,” Friedman said. “They show how the swimsuits look on different body types, which is awesome.”
To help save money, Friedman recommends searching for clothing at local thrift shops such as Monkies Vintage or signing up for email lists to different stores to be notified of upcoming sales.
4. Be conscious of the environment
Whether students find themselves on a tropical beach or tubing on the San Marcos River, it is imperative to remain ecologically aware of surroundings.
Texas State alumna Erica Gomez is the assistant manager at Texas State Tubes. Gomez has worked with Texas State Tubes for four years and has seen the ups and downs of the river ecosystems.
Texas State Tubes employees have done everything within their jurisdiction to protect the river. Gomez said their team of divers performs daily river cleanups to ensure their stretch of the river is kept healthy.
“As long as trash doesn’t stay in the river for too long, it won’t affect the river quality,” Gomez said.
To encourage tubers to keep the river clean, Texas State Tubes provides customers with mesh bags to place their trash in while tubing. Even those not tubing with the company can pick up a mesh bag for free.
“If everyone makes it a mindset to put their trash in the bag, it can help the river a lot,” Gomez said.
Gomez encourages river-goers to treat the river with care. She said many San Marcos residents are fighting for a can-ban to be placed.
Plastic containers like bottled water and sport drink bottles wouldn’t be allowed near the river if the ban passes. Gomez said to prevent a can-ban, it is crucial river-goers are conscious of how their actions affect the river.
“If we do not treat the river right, there will be no river to enjoy,” Gomez said.
5. Drink responsibly
It’s no secret the majority of college students will drink alcohol during spring break. Whether students decide to drink or not, practicing safe drinking habits and ensuring others do the same is critical.
Emma Lytle, pre-nursing sophomore, is the president of Healthy Cats, an organization dedicated to informing Texas State students about health and wellness.
Lytle encourages those who choose to drink over spring break to practice safe drinking habits. She urges students to eat before drinking to help slow the rate of alcohol absorption into the bloodstream. Furthermore, she advises students to consume water in between drinks to help pace the rate of alcohol consumption.
Lytle said alcohol poisoning is extremely dangerous and should be taken as seriously as chemical poisoning.
Effects that may pair with alcohol poisoning include memory loss, inability to concentrate and potentially death.
“Death can occur by the stopping of the heart or by choking on one’s vomit,” Lytle said.
Lytle said an acronym to help indicate if someone is facing alcohol poisoning is M.U.S.T. H.E.L.P., which stands for mental confusion, unresponsiveness, seizures, throwing up while unconscious, hyperthermia, erratic breathing, loss of consciousness and pale skin.
She said it is best to avoid showering and drinking coffee if one appears to be experiencing alcohol poisoning.
“Giving (someone with alcohol poisoning) coffee will only make them more awake and more aware of what’s going on,” Lytle said. “That can lead to anxiety.”
Additionally, Lytle said the lines on solo-cups can help measure how much one should drink. The bottom line is usually for liquor, the second line is for wines and the third to measure beer.
If someone appears to be suffering from alcohol poisoning, the best option is get help. Stay with the individual until authorities arrive and be honest with officers or EMT in regards to how much alcohol has been consumed.
6. Have fun!
In the end, it is spring break. For a week, students are free from lectures, assignments and due dates. Spring break is a time to revitalize in the midst of a stressful semester.
Above all, have fun, but don’t forget responsibilities and making smart decisions. It is essential for students to look out for one another and ensure people around them have a safe and relaxing spring break.