There is one thing college students can’t wait for all year – and it’s not midterms.
The coveted rite of passage of spring break is celebrated by young adults everywhere – and is almost always spent somewhere with sun and sand.
But this year has brought unique circumstances and it’s led some colleges and universities to take drastic measures in hopes to entice students to stay behind their desks this year – even going so far as paying them to do so!
Apparently, keeping college students locked up on campus “prevents” them from getting COVID-19.
But let’s face it – college kids want to party on spring break – it’s just what they do.
A global pandemic has no bearing on a young adult’s desire to experience a week they plan on talking about for the rest of their lives, even if it isn’t the narrative they had expected.
In fact, Texas and Florida have already seen a surge of young travelers looking to spend their spring breaks in warmer weather.
However, “experts” are concerned about a spike in COVID-19 cases with more than a million travelers having already flown this month for a getaway.
And this concern has spread to college and university administrators who fear any student who leaves campus will come back with a deadly virus they would’ve never otherwise encountered.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention even put out a warning to young people reported by the Washington Post, “[The] CDC recommends that people not travel at this time, and delay spring break travel until 2022.”
The University of California has appealed to the weakness of many young people by offering them an incentive to stay on campus for spring break – money.
Travel and Leisure reports, “The university partnered with the Healthy Davis Together organization to offer the grant, which can be redeemed for supplies in four categories — Get Active, Get Artsy, Home Improvement, and Let’s Stay In…”
And just how much does a student get for missing out on a much-needed break from school?
A mere $75 dollars!
But the funny thing is, countless students are taking up the offer.
Afterall, the term “broke college kid” still rings true today.
University of California, Davis, chancellor Gary May said, “Response was overwhelming, so much so that we boosted the number of grants from 500 to 750 and now 2,000+ (at least)!” according to Travel and Leisure.
I guess it’s cheaper to send your college child a bonus than a plane ticket to Florida.
And yes, it is coming out of the parents’ pockets.
While philanthropic gifts to the Healthy Davis Together program jumpstarted the grants, much of the current funds come from “federal and state grants for COVID-19 response,” according to Travel and Leisure.
Not all colleges and universities are able to offer every student a chunk of money to stay at school, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying.
Many have eliminated spring break entirely, requiring students to continue with classes straight through the semester.
The University of Michigan, University of Tennessee, Baylor University, and University of Florida are among the schools experimenting with this method.
But it will be interesting to see how many absences there will be during the time spring break should have occurred.
Our country is trying to control people’s movements and how they spend their free time by any means possible.
The efforts to limit the travel of the student body is just another example of overreach by the institutions in our country – institutions that should be working for the citizen, not the other way around.
But clearly, considering the surge of travelers to sunny destinations just this month, people are making their own choices and deciding what is best for them.
Long live freedom!
And good luck trying to convince a college kid not to travel during spring break!