We’re almost there, just three more days until Spring Break. Some of you may be ducking out early. Some of you may be extending yours into the next week.
We’re sure many of you have trips planned across the country and maybe abroad. You’ve earned it. It’s been a long semester. But allow us to make this public service announcement: Don’t do something horribly stupid.
We get it. It’s probably the first time you’re all alone with friends for a whole week with unlimited alcohol and partying. But that’s not an excuse. Whether it’s your first tequila shot ever or your 70th, remember the basics: Drink water. Eat. Keep cash on you. Space out your drinks, and make sure you’re with others who will actually make sure you’re okay if you have too much to drink. (This is especially important if you’re going abroad and aren’t fluent in the language.)
And please, dear reader, when you come back with tan lines, pledging you’ll never take a sip of alcohol in your life again, don’t post pictures on social media doing body shots or topless dances. While boasting your warm weather adventures might seem like a great idea right now, we promise potential employers won’t agree. Whether you graduate this May or in five years, make sure you’re maintaining a professional image online. Think about it: If you stalk your crush before going on a date, your employer is definitely stalking you before signing a contract with you.
The problem is, college students get drunk not only on liquor, but on the power of their youth and the freedom that comes with being in your early 20s. But social media has changed the landscape of how memories are shared. It’s no longer just by word of mouth, but by the power vested in Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook, your actions can spread further than a hotel room and public beaches. If someone chooses to take a video of you acting drunk and disorderly on a beach, it’s not exactly illegal; just ask Becky Lynn Gritzke, a former Florida State University student who exposed her breasts to producers for “Girls Gone Wild” during Mardi Gras and later tried to sue. While Gritzke eventually settled with the company, it doesn’t change the fact that the photos were out there.
College students, you are on the brink of adulthood. Some are filing taxes, and others may even already have jobs lined up. Don’t let one week ruin that for you. Don’t let your drunk self become a viral meme. Because once there’s an incident, it becomes news. And once it’s news, the information is public and available for all. However, despite the popular misconception that The Alligator particularly enjoys writing about students getting arrested, we don’t. We’re just doing our job covering news.
So when you’re sipping on your eighth margarita and the sun still hasn’t set, make sure you’re acting responsibly by letting another adult know about where you are and that you are, in fact, drunk. Don’t try to make your way home by stealing a motorcycle or knocking some over. Don’t bring a bad name to UF, because for some reason, officers tend to think, “It’s always UF.”