Beware spring breakers!
Spring break for Santa Monica College students is just around the corner. For some, this break may only be a treasured chance to rest, catch up with friends, or put down the textbooks. But for many college students, spring break is synonymous with parties and drinking.
Although spring break is meant to be enjoyed, students should be cautious of potential dangers associated with impaired actions.
On March 19, Samuel Levine, a University of Southern California junior, passed away of severe head trauma while vacationing in Mexico. He fell six stories after climbing onto an air-conditioning unit outside of his hotel room, according to a USC bulletin.
Many were affected by his death, including USC's Sigma Chi fraternity, to which Levine belonged. His fraternity brothers held a candlelight vigil for him last Monday.
Students need to be aware what actions are in their best interest to avoid catastrophic fates such as in Levine's case.
Consumption of alcohol is important to consider during spring break.
"The thing to stay safe is that you should know your limits, especially toward alcohol intake," said SMC student Anthony Ozorio. "You need to know your limits before you drink too much and lose control of yourself."
Kimbra Bell, an internal medicine physician with Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group, said that students should be cautious while on spring break, according to a press release by Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Bell said in the press release that no matter the circumstances, never leave a drink unattended. Drink spiking is linked to crimes such as sexual assault and robbery, primarily associated with college students at parties, according to the Australian Drug Association.
"Those parties are good to experience, but you should be smart and safe," Ozorio said.
Bell also suggested not to travel alone. Sticking together is the most important precaution, but do not assume that fellow spring breakers will look out for your best interests.
Students should also be easily reachable and have a cellphone with them in order to stay in touch with the people in their group in case of emergencies, according to Bell.
Another spring break danger is drunk driving, which statistically increases over the holidays. Many of the fatalities among college students are associated with drunk driving, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's website.
More than half of underage students said they drove after drinking and 20 percent said they drove while drunk. Among 20-year-olds, 43 percent said they had ridden with a drunk driver, according to a study by the University of Maryland in 2010.
"You can enjoy yourself and a few indulgences while still keeping your health a priority in the midst of spring break travel," Bell stated in the press release.
Spring break is the occasion of the season where students should have fun, but for your personal safety and the sake of your loved ones, recall this advice before heading off on a spring break adventure.
The point of spring break is to take a rest from the college hassles. It is only a week-long break, so there is no reason to put yourself in troublesome or regretful situations.
Visit Safe Spring Break's website for additional guidelines on how to stay safe during your week off from school.