Spring Break Safety

With Spring Break approaching many students leave campus to go home, take a vacation, do a service project or alternative Spring Break, or visit friends. Wherever your spring break adventure takes you, we want you to be safe and responsible, and return to campus ready to finish the rest of the semester successfully. The HAWKS Peer Health Educators offer tips and helpful advice for you.

collage of images including a closeup road, the beach, and a sign that reads Hotel. Text reads Safe Spring Break


Myth: You need to "get trashed" to have the "real" college experience. 

Fact: Most college students choose to drink in moderation, according to the 2014 Healthy Minds Survey.

If you choose to drink: 

  • Eat before and during drinking
  • Alternate alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Go with and stay with your friends (buddy system)
  • Keep track of your drinks
  • Aim for <.06 BAC
  • It is illegal to consume, provide, or possess alcohol under the age of 21

What's in your drink?

One standard drink equals: 

  • 12 fl oz of regular beer (5% alcohol)
  • 8-9 fl oz of malt liquor (7% alcohol)
  • 5 fl oz of table wine (12% alcohol)
  • 1.5 fl oz shot of 80-proof liquor (40% alcohol)

Note that some drinks contain more than one standard drink (such as Trashcans and Redskins)

Safety Matters

  • Do not drink and drive. The DD must not drink.
  • Stay away from high risk areas (i.e. balconies, rooftops, bodies of water)
  • Step Up! and intervene if you see something that could have negative consequences
  • Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency. Call 911 and do not leave the person alone to sleep it off.  

Fun in the Sun

Beach ball icon riding a wave

Whether at the beach or in the mountains, always: 

  1. Use sun protection
  2. Hydrate often
  3. Protect your eyes
  4. Limit sun exposure, especially midday
  5. Seek shade

Alcohol dehydrates, impairs judgment ,and affects motor skills. Avoid drinking in the sun, especially in unfamiliar places and while engaging in sports. Do not rely on thirst level for hydration status since it's usually a later sign that can indicate dehydration. 

Road Trip Tips

  • Stay awake and alert when driving
  • Switch drivers every three hours
  • Create a stellar playlist
  • Print directions as a backup to your GPS

Healthy Body Basics

Tanning Beds

  1. Your risk of melanoma increases by 75% when you use tanning beds before the age of 35. 
  2. The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently declared tanning beds "carcinogenic to humans."
  3. Tanning can be addictive; UV radiation can have a drug-like effect, including experiencing withdrawal symptoms, says David Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. 

Avoid Crash Dieting

Crash diets: 

  • Are likely to gain more weight back
  • Can cause metabolic damage
  • Can damage the heart and muscles
  • Can cause nutritional deficiencies

Make smart food choices everyday:

Meat, vegetable, fruit and carb icons

Everyday, you should have:

  • 5 - 6 oz of protein
  • 2 - 3 cups of vegetables
  • 2 cups of fruit
  • 6 - 8 oz carbohydrates

Goal: Focus on variety, amount, and nutritional value. 

Body Confidence

"There is so much emphasis on body image... what you should be after is to be healthy and feel good about yourself." - Abby Wambach, US Soccer Player