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Georgia Southern University Faculty Expert Offers Tips for Enjoying a Safe Spring Break

03-08 raymona lawrencePlanning ahead is the key to avoiding a number of preventable spring break mishaps and Georgia Southern University Wellness coordinator Raymona Lawrence is sharing that advice with students and parents as the annual getaway draws near.

Lawrence says that while unforeseen circumstances can always affect even the most solid plans, advance preparation is the best way to prevent common spring break issues like travel delays, overspending, forgetting important medications, or drinking without a designated driver.

“Planning ahead is the key to making wise choices in relation to health, wellness and safety,” suggests Lawrence. “Choose activities or a trip that is within your budget and prepare for activities in advance.”

Scheduling activities minimizes the opportunity for peer pressure and risky choices. Most importantly, students should make sure their families know the specific details of their trips.

Lawrence has other suggestions to create a safe, enjoyable spring break:

1.      Stay Smoke Free: Hang out in places that are either open-air or smoke-free to maintain and enhance your wellness. Ask visitors to smoke outside for the health of others.

2.      Those older than age 21 should limit alcohol intake: Choose to be active and adventurous instead of binge drinking. Learn to rock-climb or water-ski and take hikes outdoors in order to satisfy your desire for excitement, while reducing temptation for risky behavior. If you do consume more than one drink per hour, make sure to walk, take public transportation or ride with a designated driver.

3.      Stay Together: Remain in public places and stay with groups of friends and family, especially if in an unfamiliar location.

4.      Tan safely: Slip on protective clothing, make sure to apply sunscreen of SPF30 or higher every two hours, wear wide-brimmed hats and protective sunglasses, and seek shade whenever possible.

5.      Know your limitations: It is easy to be pressured into activities that are not a part of who you are. Be sure to work within your capabilities and ethics.

Although trips to the beach for relaxation and fun in the sun are a spring vacation favorite, Lawrence suggests students in both high school and college consider the weeklong break can also be used for time with family or for life and career building adventures. She encourages students to take the opportunity to learn more about themselves by engaging in a new activity or experience, practicing an old instrument, visiting family or working on a project at home.

“Students can work or volunteer at a job that will positively contribute to their résumés and experience,” said Lawrence. “With an ever-increasing competitive job market, employers are looking for applicants that have unique and positive leadership and work experiences. Taking the initiative could make this spring break a life-changing event.”

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