Spring break warnings

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yes, it is that time of year again. The time of year when the halls of our local schools empty out to give students a chance to cram one last weeklong break in before the academic year winds down.

For most high school and college students, the next stop is the beach. This was normally my routine during my late high school and early college years.

The beach can be just what the doctor ordered to get in one last fun experience before it is time to focus on finals. But, there are certain precautions people should take. I’m not talking about the usual warnings such as stay in groups and don’t talk to strangers. I’m talking about the problems young people encounter that most people don’t warn you about.

Email newsletter signup

First of all, if you travel to the beach, keep in mind that the water is probably still cold! Here in Demopolis, we don’t get to enjoy the crashing waves or gentle breeze of the Gulf Coast. Naturally, when people from this area venture down to the land of sunshine it is only natural to want to take a dip. Well, just because the sun is out doesn’t mean the water isn’t as cold as an igloo.

How do I know? Well, let me take you back to a spring break beach experience in the spring of 1995. My friends and I were eager to get out of Choctaw County (entertainment capital of west Alabama) and see what people were up to in the lower end of the state. When we got there the phrase “it can’t be that cold” was tossed out and the rest is history. To sum it up, it’s hard to look cool when you hopping around screaming like a girl.

Lesson two, if the waters are warm enough to accommodate human beings there please remember there are things in there that bite. I learned this on a summer trip to Panama City while in college.

I always knew about jellyfish, but I was lucky enough to avoid them in the home waters of Gulf Shores. The Florida panhandle was not as kind.

Just when I thought it was safe to hit the water, these floating beach balls with stingers came along and let me have it. Again, it’s hard to look cool while hopping around and screaming.

The rules surrounding water conditions are of utmost importance when you are at the beach. But, there is a third rule for those who choose to stay on land that must also be observed.

At no time, under no circumstances are you going to look cool on a banana yellow scooter. People look cool at the beach on motorcycles. People look cool in Jeeps. But, the guy on the yellow scooter is usually going to take a water balloon at some point.

This spring break, keep all the rules mom and dad told you at the front of your mind. Be careful what you eat, be careful who you talk to, and no matter hat your friends say, it is not a good idea to do whatever they are trying to get you to do!

At the same time, stay on your toes for the things no one warns you about.