Life in the USA
Spring break, as the name implies, refers to the custom among American schools, colleges and universities to give their students a full week off from their studies at some time during the spring season. The dates of spring break will vary with the school. Some schools time their breaks to fit in with the Easter weekend, allowing students to travel home for that important holiday, others engineer spring break to encompass St. Patrick's Day.
While some college students might indeed use their spring breaks to catch up on their studies or to spend time with their families, many others travel to resort destinations, in or out of the United States, in order to congregate with each other, sometimes in circumstances that involve a great deal of drinking and public disorder. For many years, Fort Lauderdale, Florida was a popular destination for students from all over the country, until local residents objected to the damage caused by the students. The same phenomenon occurred in popular Daytona Beach, Florida. Many American communities still “turn a blind eye” to the disruption, however, since spring break traffic is an important factor in the local economies, despite the fact that most college students are under the minimum legal drinking age of 21. Tour companies specialize in selling discounted spring break packages to Mexico or countries of the Caribbean. These countries often have a lower minimum drinking age than the United States or are more tolerant of underage drinking. The income from tourism is important for them.
It goes without saying that since hundreds of thousands of American college students celebrate spring break in an unrestricted manner, every year, a number of them die, are injured, or get into some kind of trouble. For many others, however, spring break is a well-anticipated time of ritual relaxation.
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