My College Spring Break Was Exactly Like The Movies And I Absolutely Hated It
Undercooked hot dogs.
Fruity drinks with too much sugar and no alcohol.
People purposely making themselves vomit by drinking (aka poisoning themselves with) the water.
These are just a few of the things I experienced on my ~spring break~ adventure in Cancun, Mexico in the spring of 2015.
When you think of spring break, you might envision groups of college kids running around on a beach, their beer guts popping out of their too-tight bathing suits, dancing sloppily to whatever Top 40 hit is playing.
You might picture a foreign DJ, pounds of sweat dripping from his forehead and a loose, white "SPRING BREAK!" tank top hanging off his large, hairy body, loudly singing along to the words with his molasses-thick accent.
You might also imagine all of this starting at 10 in the morning every morning for a week straight — with the smell of puke, diarrhea and the desperation of 21-year-olds NEEDING TO HAVE THE BEST TIME EVER permeating every area.
Well, you would be right about all of that.
Deep down, I knew going on this ratchet spring break adventure to Cancun wasn't going to be my idea of a fun time.
First of all, I liked things pretty clean. And what excites most people about ~spring break~ is the fact that you get to be the filthiest version of yourself. Ever. For several days in a row.
You also, apparently, can't drink the water in Mexico, and I always get nervous about the possibility of contaminated food and water. If accidentally eating undercooked chicken I made in the comfort of my own kitchen is my biggest fear, how on earth would I survive Mexico?
Plus, the fact that the primary activity for a week was binge-drinking made me anxious, not excited. Especially when I thought about how we'd be doing it under the blazing hot sun. Like, people were going to get sun poisoning! Or die!
But, much like feeling your first hard-on pressed up against your lower back at your first frat party, going on SPRING BREAK is one of those quintessential college experiences I couldn't possibly miss out on. So, I went.
I don't remember who decided it would be a good idea for every senior at my school to go to this particularly dank resort in Cancun, Mexico, but before I knew it, I was dishing out $1,200 to live and party in literal squalor for a week.
The first night, there was a mini-opening party downstairs at the small outdoor club, so we all went to celebrate our arrival. I put on a pair of electric pink shorts and went at it.
Here I am, on the left, going at it.
But then, we all went down to the beach, and my friend got his shoes stolen -- and no resort personnel cared. That was the moment we were all like, "Wait, nobody here gives a fuck about us, do they?"
Ratchet spring break officially began.
We decided to get food at the resort's busy, late-night food area. The walls and floors were covered in this cheesy red and white design that made the room look like a cross between a cheap diner and a high school cafeteria.
People were walking around barefoot. The floors were so moist and dirty; I swore someone was going to get typhoid.
This food area served your typical drunk food: hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, French fries, nachos and cheese. Drunk food is never usually that appetizing anyway, but this particular kind of drunk food looked like the fake food you got in those toy kitchen sets when you were a kid, all rubbery and cold to the touch.
But we still ate it. What else were we supposed to do? This was all they had, and we were starving from traveling all day.
That was the moment we were all like, "Wait, nobody here gives a fuck about us, do they?"
The next morning, at 10 am, music was already blaring from random speakers on the back patio and people were already drunkenly dancing. (Reminder: It was 10 am.)
My friends and I went to the beach and drank Tequila Sunrises, these colorful, fruity, far-too-sweet concoctions that didn't get me drunk and also gave me a wretched stomach ache.
Here's me (on the left), sucking in my sugar bloat and cringing through the pain.
For the rest of the day, I stuck to Dos Equis, which is objectively the worst beer ever but the only beer the resort served.
What made all of this worse was the fact that the area around the tiki bar, where we all congregated to get drinks, smelled like poop. And frat boys from colleges all over the country were rubbing their sweaty bodies on me as they asked — no, screamed at — the bartender to refill their huge, neon-green funnels with Tequila Sunrises.
One of my friends peed in the pool. On purpose. I don't even think he was drunk yet.
The pool area was not much cleaner or calmer. Wet hamburger buns and rubbery chips that people ate the night before (and the resort ended up serving for every single meal) were smushed into the concrete.
One of my friends peed in the pool. On purpose. I don't even think he was drunk yet.
Also, this guy existed. (Why? Just why?)
Just when I thought I couldn't feel any more grossed out, violent food poisoning ripped through my group of friends like a tsunami through a small village. Several of my friends were bedridden for days, running back and forth to the bathroom to expel whatever remained of the resort's idea of "food."
Knowing full-well my own food poisoning moment of doom was coming, I called my mother in a panic, even though my international phone call charges were going to cost me, like, $5.00 per minute.
Sure enough, an hour later, I was the toilet's bitch.
I didn't eat for the rest of the trip. In case you are wondering, that is several days.
... an hour later, I was the toilet's bitch.
There is a picture from this day of us at dinner that is hilarious if you know the backstory. At a glance, it's just a picture of a group of friends having a nice meal. However, more than a few people in the photo had spent the whole day shitting themselves.
I'm not including it here because I'm a good friend.
By the fourth day of the trip, the same Mexican DJ had been blaring the same music for days, the same Tequila Sunrises were being poured into the same neon funnels and the poop smell was still inescapable. A friend and I were so disgusted by everything, we camped out at the other resort until it was time to go home.
This resort had the same name as the horrible one we were staying at, yet the food looked appetizing and there was no unidentified brown goop on the floor. It seemed to be the "adult" version of the piece of crap in which they housed rowdy spring breakers.
Here we are enjoying the sun and the smell of not-shit.
As I lay on that pristine white cushion, I wondered why the hell I needed to go all the way to Mexico to do exactly what I did at tailgates... and a lesser quality version of it, at that.
At least, at a tailgate, I could get drunk off of my choice of several decent beers, plus I got chips that weren't soggy and came in various flavors.
Looking back on everything, I am glad I went on this trip, if only for the story.
But I can't help but cringe at the $1,200 I spent that could have been better used elsewhere, like on a nicer post-grad apartment in NYC. Or shoes. Anything but that disgusting, smelly, disease-ridden resort filled with equally as disgusting, smelly, disease-ridden spring breakers.
Everyone who was spring-breaking in Cancun knew they were supposed to be ratchet, so they became ratchet.
The trip ended up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everyone who was spring-breaking in Cancun knew they were supposed to be ratchet, so they became ratchet.
Because of this, I don't blame anyone for who they became on this trip. I don't even blame the frat boy in that aggressive green thong for tea-bagging his sweaty balls into the pool. He was probably a straight-A student! Maybe he was on track to become a doctor! Who knows?
Regardless, this trip was a college rite of passage. You simply had to go. And who you became on spring break was not who you were as a human being.
I guess that's why the resort didn't care about treating us like people and investing in quality food and drinks for us. They knew that a bunch of drunk assholes would only care the drinks got them drunk and the food lined their stomachs so they could drink to get more drunk.
And, well, they weren't wrong...
But still, this whole spring break thing just wasn't my thing.
I hope my next vacation is a little... cleaner than this one was. Though, that's not really saying much.