The Oakland Post

SATIRE: An open letter on spring break

illustration by Erin O'Neill

illustration by Erin O'Neill

Stephen Armica, Satirist

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I’m not one to complain, but this year’s “winter break” (spring break) sucked. It rained so much, I had to share my cigarettes with the raccoons taking shelter on my porch. It was cold enough that an Alaskan tourist complained about it. But mostly, it was the worst time for spring break.

There’s a point I’m trying to make here. And no, it’s not that I have the resources to publish my complaints. It’s that the students deserve to know whose stupid idea it was to have spring break at such a dumb time.

We just want accountability. As a public institution, the students want to know about the decisions being made on our behalf. And probably the most important decision is when we don’t have to put a single unit of effort into classwork.

“Why is this an issue?” asks my friends at the college administration.

Well, I’ll tell you.

I wanted to go see a friend at Michigan State University. They had midterms. When I made the hour-and-a-half drive, they had time to tell me how their day was going (bad) before they had to go finish a paper.

I wanted to get drunk with some buddies at the University of Michigan. But guess what. They’re so stressed that I spent half my time treating someone for anxiety and depression. Also, their spring break is a week after ours.

Spring break marks an elite institution from its more pedestrian compatriots. I read it on the US News & World Report “Best Colleges List” Criteria.

If the students have a more opportune time for spring break, their GPAs go up. When spring break is closer to the other colleges, then the culture of the campus becomes more engaging. And if students feel more engaged, they’re more likely to donate to the institution that they felt was the greatest time of their lives.

What’s that? Cite my sources? No.

This issue isn’t about specifics. It’s about the problem at hand. And the problem is that like many students, I couldn’t afford to go to Panama City, Fla. for my spring break. Instead I was stuck sitting on my couch yelling at my phone screen every time someone posted something about being somewhere warm and not here.

And do you know what the worst part was? I actually found out a lot about myself. I realized that the greatest things in life don’t involve going to expensive places but instead involve making the most of every waking moment in order to live the life we choose.

I shouldn’t have to think about stuff like that, Oakland University administration. I should be drunk on a beach somewhere. It’s your job to fix this.

If it helps any, I know Bill Gates. I personally follow him on Twitter and I’m sure he will gladly donate big for this cause.

But better yet, we’ll start a movement, #Freethespringbreak. Look for it on Twitter, because I’m not grossly overestimating the reach of this article and you’re going to be seeing a lot of that.

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Oakland University's independent student newspaper.