Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Alternative Spring Breaks

Last night Dave and I watched a special program on MTV called "The Amazing Break," which was about alternative spring breaks. The program profiled students who decided not to go and party in Mexico during spring break and instead did something beneficial. The trips included clean-up in Biloxi, MS, a shoe drive in South Africa, a protest on conservative campuses, and a work project in a homeless shelter.

Except for my first spring break in college when I spent the entire week at two-a-day practices for crew, I spent my breaks on these alternative spring breaks. My first work project spring break was in Miami/Homestead, Florida where I worked on the Collegiate Challenge for Habitat for Humanity after Hurrican Andrew (I believe). This was my favorite work project. We worked alongside other college students building an entire neighborhood and actually got the opportunity to meet the families for which we were doing the work. My second work project was in Spartanburg, South Carolina again with the Collegiate Challenge and Habitat for Humanity. My third work project was in Applachia in Jonesville, Virginia (I believe) for the Applachian Service Project. We repaired a house for a family whose patriarch had black lung disease from working in the coal mines. Finally, my last spring break (actually the day after I graduated) was in Port-a-Prince, Haiti where I took part in a cultural exchange and worked with children with TB in a children's hospital.

I've been a long time fan of MTV. I have watched every Real World since it started over 10 years ago. I've watched several of their other reality shows like Laguna Beach and Newlyweds and occassionally watched the spring break specials. But, I've noticed that MTV is going downhill and not showing a true representation of young people in America anymore. Maybe I'm just getting old. I dislike that the show I watched yesterday was just a show and not interwoven into their spring break madness. I dislike that the Real World is no longer about people who are driven and just trying to catch a break and MTV is helping them and instead has become a big boozing show. I really dislike that Laguna Beach is their most popular show and only a small fraction of the world actually lives their 'Laguna Beach' lives.

Now that we're older and wiser, would you spend your spring breaks the same way? If you had an extra week of vacation how would you spend it? Am I the only one who is fed up with the societal pressures put on kids? I'm just complaining today, I guess.

2 comments:

jkrunning--Just Keep Running said...

I agree that MTV has gone downhill. As for the spring breaks, I kind've enjoyed my week in Cancun my Junior year in college. However, it would've been nice to spend the other ones doing something for the greater good.

Meredith said...

I'm not saying that spring breaks or any vacations are bad. I guess I'm saying that the image of drinking and getting in trouble and having random hook-ups is a bad message to be sending.

Sometimes I wish I had taken a "spring break", but mine would have been quite different.