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Group trip tropes: Recognizing different kinds of spring breakers

Spring break is a time for what college students love best: debauchery and poor fiscal decision-making. Best of all, the vacation is a study in group dynamics, archetypes and the limits of common sense. Here are some typical kinds of students you’ll find on a spring break trip.

The one who can’t help but over do it

This is the companion that’s on their third shot at 10 a.m. They charge their dab pen more than their phone. You catch them googling “where to buy reagent test kit,” but decide that it isn’t your business to inquire further. By the time the group heads down to the continental breakfast, they’re worried about keeping their food down instead of fueling up for the day. The first instance of vomiting happens before you hit the beach, so for an hour or two they bathe in the sun, trying to recover. Eventually they catch up to the rest of the group, ready to rage, and this is where they truly strut their stuff. 

By 6 p.m. this pal is back in form, slurring their words slightly. At 8 p.m. they’re striking up aimless conversations with every passerby. By 10 o’clock, they’ve accumulated bruises that they won’t remember getting in the morning. Before the night ends, their phone has been confiscated to avoid regrettable FaceTime calls and text messages. Don’t forget, when tucking this friend into bed, always remember to lay them on their side and have a garbage bin nearby. 

Catchphrase: “Nah I’m good, I promise.”

The one who secretly can’t afford the trip

This is the friend who subsists solely on the snacks they brought with them. You all love the shore, but eventually realize that this friend literally only wants to go to the beach. When a new plan is suggested, there’s a instant counter-offer, and it always it’s notably cheaper. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with running a tight budget, but the problem is that this friend won’t admit they’re on one. When the group settles on a new plan, they release a twisted, nervous laughter.  

This friend lags behind in the back of the group. It’s almost like they’re in mourning, so preoccupied with what they’ve lost that they can’t have a good time at all. The “broke student” stereotype is accepted as the norm, but some mix of pride and shame won’t let them admit it. Of course, as the age old adage goes, “Pride comes before the fall.”

Catchphrase: “Yeah, I’ll Venmo you.” 

The one who left their significant other back at home

From the moment they wake up, this friend is glued to their phone. When you guys get ready to take a flick, they carefully examine the scene to make sure there’s nothing “incriminating” in clear view. They swear they they don’t have an unhealthy relationship, but any time they put their phone away for more than an hour there’s a barrage of calls. 

By 11 p.m. they have to be back in the hotel room to hop on FaceTime and say goodnight. The group will poke fun at this friend, but mere jokes can’t match up to the intense psychological pressure they’re already under. The worst case scenario for this friend is if they engage in adulterous acts, because the pressure will inevitably land on the group to keep their secret. That’s quite the burden to bear, so you might want to go easy on the one-liners.

Catchphrase: “Guys, I’ll catch up later.”

The responsible one

You know who this person is, because everyone calls them the “mom” of the group. If you compare your spring break excursion to “The Simpsons,” then this friend is Lisa. They’re the most prepared, most informed on your destination and the group lets them handle all the booking information. Magellan doesn’t hold a candle to them when it comes to navigation, as they’re master of Google Maps. Unfortunately, that also means they’re the friend relaxing the least.

They might be a bit curt in conversation, but that’s because they’re too busy focusing on … everything else. In fact, they have the distinct responsibility of dealing with the screw-ups you’re traveling with. They always have a water bottle on hand for your pal who loves to indulge. This friend is sober enough to hop on FaceTime and quell any fears of vacation infidelity. Most importantly, once three weeks have passed after the trip, they’re the one who comes to collect from the “fiscally challenged” friend. While on break they’ll push your nerves, but in retrospect you’ll realize the trip would have been a complete mess if they hadn’t. 

Catchphrase: "Look at me, I'm the captain now."

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