The not so Spring Breakers

March 15, 2017 was the day I finally realized how unique I really am. Well, actually, how unique Stevens students are. Upon reaching Nassau in The Bahamas on my spring break cruise, my friends and I decided to go out to the one and only Señor Frogs. To summarize the restaurant and bar in the shortest and most accurate way possible, my sugary yet pungent margarita came in a tall plastic cup called a “Yard Stick.” Yeah, one of those places. With music blaring and a powerful base increasing as we walked further and further into the bar, it was a location we all anticipated would be a fun night out. The initial atmosphere and round of drinks echoed something you would experience in Hoboken, but we quickly learned otherwise.

About every 10 minutes or so the would DJ ask “where my spring breakers at?” The eight of us would reply with excited yet calm “Woot!” which quickly got trumped and interrupted by the sloppy responses of “WOOOOO!” and “OH YEAAAH” and insert every other obnoxious sound you could think of here. Clearly, everyone else was at another level than we were. As the night progressed, the eight of us got to experience dance contests for free shots, our flip flops sticking to the floor from nearly every person around us spilling their drink, and a scene that arguably was a modernized “Animal House”-style party in the middle of paradise. Though it was an enjoyable time for the group, it was incredible to witness how other people our age were celebrating their week off from school and how different that behavior really is.

The differences in spring break behavior were not causing a “we’re better/they’re not” sort of mentality but simply a “wow, we are really different” one. Though there are some Stevens students who might have had a spring break similar to the other attendees of Señor Frogs, it was pretty evident how the social culture of Stevens is vastly different than that of other school’s. The differences stretched beyond our Señor Frogs experience. For example, because of some midterms this past week, a couple of my friends peeled off to a local Starbucks to take advantage of the free wifi and download slides to study from. Paper due middle of spring break? No problem. Instead of relaxing on the beach, one of us typed away on Google Docs via their phone to get it done. I highly doubt many other college students would do those sorts of things, but this is just “a day in the life” for a Stevens student. You’re reading this while smiling in nodding because it’s a behavior that is pretty much accepted. Honestly, other college students might think you were a nerd if you did those things on your vacation.

All in all, Stevens students have vastly different approaches to things. Instead of relaxing the entire vacation without a worry, Stevens students hopped on the opportunity to be better prepared for that looming exam. Even in the non-academic sense, instead of getting obliterated and having the spring break you questionably won’t remember the next week, (with a killer hangover to couple it) a Stevens student is probably there to simply have a good time and relax. Not to generalize every student who goes here and went on spring break, but I’m sure many people felt different than, or even overwhelmed by, the behaviors of spring breakers around them. I always knew Stevens students were unique just given the nature of the curricula, student life, and social life, but I really didn’t notice it in the flesh until my break. To make the comparison between “you and them” is very dependent of whom you are, but overall the similarities and differences really evened out.

Maybe the people climbing on stage to dance with their friends and winning twerking contests for free drinks probably saw my friends and I as outsiders. We might have been classified as the “not-so-spring breakers,” but I had fun nonetheless. The important fact of being a Stevens student, whether on spring break or not, is to embrace the fact that you are different. We have different approaches to nearly everything, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Throughout my night, I powered through my Yard Stick and made the best of the situation that I could possibly do.