>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 20 – February 23, 2003

As America's future, we college students feel that we deserve a break every once in a while. That's why Spring Break was created, or so the legend goes. Whatever the real story behind it, Spring Break is not without its share of problems and idiosyncrasies. So wherever you go on your time off, try to enjoy yourselves. It's the last bit of fun you'll ever have until you retire or die. And one more thing, if you think that it's inappropriate for me to refer to Canadian college students as ‘America's' future, then you obviously haven't read any unemployment reports lately. Here's what happened:

-Spring break is definitely the time of year college students look forward to the most. Of course, here in Victoria, it always feels like spring. It's cold in the mornings, hot in the afternoons, and it rains an awful lot. You'd think kids would get tired of spring break after enduring perma-spring for the better part of a year.

-Why the hell do they make spring break in February? That's not even technically spring! And why don't all the schools make it the same week off, so that you can hang out with friends from other universities? My guess is that colleges were getting sick and tired of all these students actually enjoying their vacations.

-Everybody celebrates Spring Break differently. There are the traditionals, people who go to Cancun or Puerto Vallarta or somewhere else in Mexico that has absolutely no Mexicans. These are always the rich kids whose parents paid for their tuition and housing and books and beer. They fly across the continent so they can sit around and drink 16 hours a day and hook up with random guys/girls that they meet at the pool and then they come back to the rest of us peasants to share stories and pictures and, hopefully, venereal diseases as well.

-There's also the skiers and snowboarders. They're the ones who bolt for the hills as soon as possible. They come from rich families too, more often than not. They always say things like “Yeah, my parents own a chalet up there” or something else that makes us poor people really bitter and jealous. With any luck, these people come back from vacation with ski- and snowboard-related injuries and, hopefully, venereal diseases as well.

-I love the people who race home as soon as they hear that they have a week off. What better way to celebrate your freedom than going home and babysitting your little siblings? While everyone else is off partying at some exotic locale, you're sitting at home watching reruns of The Simpsons. These are the people who don't drink, don't smoke, never go to parties and are asleep before it's fully dark out. I strongly recommend you don't make fun of these people, because you'll almost definitely need to copy their homework when you get back from Cancun.

-As you have probably already guessed, prior commitments and lack of money kept me from going anywhere fun for ‘spring' break. I stayed here in my dorm room with absolutely no one around, getting cabin fever. The worst part about being one of the only people left behind is having to eat in a semi-abandoned cafeteria. It's just depressing. There's you and 5 other losers sitting on opposite ends of the dining hall. Nobody's talking, there's no music, and you just know the servers are laughing at you behind your back. Tip for newbies: If you ever find yourselves in this situation, do not under any circumstances attempt to start a food fight. You'll look pathetic and the other caf losers will make fun of you.

-Sitting alone in the cafeteria kind of makes you feel like you've just survived a nuclear holocaust. Think about it: You're in a cold, sterile, empty room surrounded by enough rations to get you through the next month. Then your phone rings and you jump, because you were so startled since you thought the only things that had survived were you and the roaches. (I'm kidding, of course. My cell phone never rings.)

-Just when I thought I was about to re-enact scenes from the Omega Man, a friend of mine came and joined me in the caf. He was back from his vacation and wanted to show me pictures. He greets me by saying: “Hey, what are you up to?” What am I up to? I'm sitting in the cafeteria with a plate of food in front of me. What the hell do you think I'm doing? My fucking taxes? (I'm just kidding. I don't have friends.)

-This is the time of year that students start looking for summer jobs. By no measure of coincidence, this is also the time of year when students start thinking about taking out their nose rings.

-Now Playing: “Dreaming of You” by The Coral. They're going to be bigger than the Beatles. Remember, you heard it here first.

-At the clubs, there's a lot of girls whom you don't even want to try to dance with. For example, avoid any girl who brings her purse with her onto the dance floor. You see these stupid idiots jumping up and down, their handbags flailing in the air like windsocks. If these girls are so paranoid about leaving their bags behind for even 2 minutes, what do you think the chances are that they'll let you into their pants?

-You know those underage girls who bring fake IDs to the clubs with pictures that look nothing like them, and when the bouncer calls them on it they say “It's an old picture” even though it's of a person who is at least 6 years older than them? What the hell is that about?

-The city of Victoria has recently gone ID-ing crazy. Now, whenever you go to any 19+ establishment, you need to bring 2 pieces of ID with you. An underage acquaintence of mine heard this news and then, with a tone of naive sincerity, submitted this week's Quote of the Moment: “Do both pieces need to have the same name on them?”

-There's all kinds of rules the residences have set up to make sure that our lives are as difficult as possible. Nobody ever follows these rules, mind you, but they're there nonetheless. One of the most confusing rules I've come across is the ban on halogen lamps. I have yet to see one person who DOESN'T have a halogen desk lamp in their room. My theory is that people just got them because they were told they weren't allowed to. Heck, I didn't even know what a halogen lamp WAS until I got here and was told they were banned. I bought one the next day.

-The other day, I got to thinking about all the textbooks I had bought at the beginning of the year and never opened. I think the professors get a kick out of assigning required readings that they know nobody will ever do. At the beginning of the semester, everybody rushes out and spends hundreds of dollars on books that no sane person would ever voluntarily purchase. We all think to ourselves: “I'm going to keep on top of all the readings this semester, I'm going to highlight important passages and take notes and everything.” Then you fall behind on the first couple of readings, but you think “It's no big deal, I can catch up by reading three chapters on the weekend.” You never do, though, and the weekend before the test, your books in mint condition and you open it up for the first time and you say “Yeah, like I'm actually going to read THAT.”

-I find it strange how, when I'm on the bus and we pass a gas station, I always remark on the price of gas. I always say things like “Wow, 80 cents a litre! That's so high!” or “Prices have gone down this week. Isn't that great?” even though I don't drive. Heck, if I had a car I wouldn't be on the bus in the first place.

-And, finally, last week I asked a girl to go out for coffee only to receive a second Quote of the Moment in response: “Sorry, I'd love to. But I have to call my mom that night.” What kind of bullshit excuse is that? How long does it take to talk to your mom? 5 minutes? Half an hour? I guess now I know where SHE'S going for Spring Break.