There are times when Penn seems like a bad sitcom, with characters exaggerated to the point of absurdity. With a student body comprised of valedictorians, club leaders and the rare, hyphenated species known as the student-athlete, it is unsurprising that we tend to be competitive about GPAs, extracurricular positions and scoreboards. After all, we often consider these as investments in both our lives on campus and in the future. As any procrastinator will tell you, pressure is a great motivator.
But being the competitive Penn students that we are, sometimes we reach too far. The point of extremity? Competitiveness toward spring break.
“What did you do over break?” You know you’ve been asked it – hell, it may even have been me asking. (And look, I did it again!)
In the dictionary of Locust Walk, “spring break” is only slightly less dull than “the weather” but significantly more personal. We’re in college, and as MTV tells us, we’re not supposed to go on spring break, but SPRING BREAK! – preferably in some south-of-the-border locale. Facebook statuses that serve as “__ days until Jamaica!!!” countdowns only seem to further this expectation.
But many of us, me included, went home instead. Though my home is located in a warm, sunny climate – ideal for spring break – I still feel the need to justify my choice of a place that lacks the cache of Cabo.
And I know I’m not alone in this. Over the last few days, every person I’ve run into who didn’t spend break at a beach resort has tossed out words like “relaxation,” “recovery,” and “Tila Tequila.”
Without superlative phrases to throw around like “most beautiful sunset,” “great swim-up bar” and “best tan,” it can be easy to feel like you don’t measure up to spring break standards. And at Penn, few feelings inspire the urge to cringe more than that of not measuring up-.
This, however, is ridiculous. Spring break is a week about escaping Penn and its intense environment. Do we really want to be slap-stick Ivy Leaguers, wanting to prove our intensity so much that we resort to one-upping vacations?
The irony, of course, is that in going home I truly lived the MTV spring break: lots and lots of America’s Best Dance Crew. Much love to the JabbaWockeeZ!
Here’s to you,