Stay safe and classy during spring break

Students should remember that fun and safety aren’t mutually exclusive.

Daily Editorial Board

This week, hundreds of University of Minnesota students will load their carry-on bags with neon fanny packs and string bikinis in search of the ultimate party, #SpringBreak2013.

We’ve studied hard all semester, and now we’ll descend on Cancun, Mexico, South Padre Island, Texas, and Daytona Beach, Fla., ready to relax with sun, sand and copious amounts of alcohol. At nearly every college spring break destination, students from the University will meet with other students from across the nation and try to determine which school can party the hardest (i.e. which school should just change its motto to #YOLO ).

While every student deserves to take a break, it’s important to remember that what happens at Panama City Beach, Fla., doesn’t always stay at PCB.

The decisions we make during spring break have the potential for long-term consequences. If you’re lucky, you’ll come back with sunburn and a hangover. If you’re not, you might come back with a sexually transmitted disease or a permanently damaged reputation from an inappropriate Facebook photo. At its worst, you or a friend might not come back at all due to alcohol poisoning or the deadly combination of too much booze and large bodies of water.

Alcohol is a major factor in the “vast majority of arrests, accidents, violent crimes, rapes and deaths suffered by American students on Spring Break,” according to the U.S. Department of State.

This can all be avoided by watching out for your friends and making sure they are looking out for you, too. Set limits for each other and intervene when things get out of control.

Instead of proving to other college students that University of Minnesota students are the best at tequila shots and wet T-shirt contests, let’s make a collective effort to prove that University students can have a good time responsibly, watch out for their friends and return home safely.