Snow is melting, Chacos are reappearing, footballs and slacklines are making their way back to the Oval. Spring is here. This is a time of awakening, growth and rejuvenation, for both plants and students. There is perhaps no better time to express this newfound sense of energy we all possess than during the upcoming sacred week that is spring break.
If students are to glean their understanding of the traditional and correct way to spend spring break from movies, the week-long vacation is a time for the suspension of open container laws, for developing an inexplicably serious commitment to beach volleyball, for exciting but ultimately vacuous flings and for sleepless nights filled with inane conversations and binge drinking.
In Missoula, the stereotypical and presumptive spring break typically includes Arches National Park. Instead of beach volleyball with your bros followed by binge drinking, it’s climbing with your bros followed by binge drinking. “What are your plans for spring break?” followed by, “The desert, man!” is an exchange we’ve all heard a few too many times while walking our bikes across the Higgins Avenue bridge.
It’s easy to feel left out about your inability to fund a trip when listening to fellow students describe their extravagant spring break plans, but you should know that if you do fall into this category, you’re not alone. So much of the perception that everyone but you is out adventuring this time of year is driven by social media. Compulsive Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posting is used to show off evidence of the most beautiful and enviable of experiences. People aren't posting Instagram stories of the third bowl of cereal they’ve eaten on their living room floor, but rest assured, many of them have spent their spring break in this exact state.
Vacations cost money you might not have, after all. The demographic with the highest level of poverty in Missoula is women and men between the ages of 18 and 24. A lot of students don’t have the money to fly somewhere for spring break or to pay for gas for an 800-mile drive to southern Utah. Some students can’t even take work off; for some, campus being shut down has nothing to do with whether or not they're clocking in at Jimmy John's to be able to pay rent.
So, if you’re sticking around for spring break, try not to worry that you’re missing out on vital experiences. The weather in Missoula is supposed to be good next week anyway.