North Texas Daily

The economics of spring break

The economics of spring break

The economics of spring break
March 21
23:54 2017

Nate Jackson | Staff Writer

Spring break is a time in our country in which high school seniors and college students of all ages visit beaches and destination cities across our country, often free of care and of morals, for that matter. It is a time to be relieved of all the burden and stress that school places on you without remorse. Drinking the tension away, and partying until the sun comes up. It has been the anecdote for the commoner as long as we can remember.

But have you ever pondered why we have this random holiday in the middle of the semester? Many of us don’t care to question it; we indulge in the break so who cares? Many might have assumed its sole origin was to give us much needed consolation during an often taxing school year. I’m delighted to inform you that it’s much deeper than that.

Spring break has been celebrated as long as we have been recording history. It began in ancient Greece as “Anthesteria,” which was a festival dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and whoopee. People would dance, singers would perform, women would get dressed in their best and the men would compete to see who would chug all of their wine first. In layman’s terms, they had their own SXSW.

Two thousand years ago, traveling to a beach or a nearby city and throwing a three-day party may have not cost much money. I’m sure somebody out there has done the calculations and adjusted them for inflation. But in today’s economic climate, I know doing such things cost money, a significant amount in most cases. Whether it be fuel costs, lodging cost, paying for food or the most essential thing, buying alcohol. Us college students aren’t known for our moderation.

So I decided to see what impact spring break has economically on our beaches and destination cities. It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of college students travel ensemble for spring break, spending approximately $1 billion in Florida and Texas alone. For a holiday that traditionally lasts a week, or even three days in some cases. I’d say that is a significant amount of funding.

It’s not all rainbows and palm trees when it comes to spring break, as there are negative effects to partaking in the festivities. During spring break, it’s estimated that 44 percent of college women and 75 percent of college men get drunk on a daily basis. Which as we all know can, and often does, host side effects, such as vomiting, confusion, seizures and most crucially, the killing of brain cells.

Despite all of this, spring break is a necessary break from all of the redundancies of life. As college students, we get into a routine of class, work, eat, sleep and repeat. So to break the monotony of our routines is very essential to realizing how good life and success can and will be outside of school. And it’s been that way for over two thousand years.

Featured Illustration: Antonio Mercado

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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