When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you girls, make best friends… isn’t that how the story goes? It sounds simple enough, but spring break taught me a whole different story.
Our vast differences should bring us together, not tear us apart! And here I was, thinking that the cattiness, cliques, and drama frenzy was shed off when we graduated high school.
Previous spring breakers warned me: “it’s one of the best weeks of your life, but you won’t want to do it again.” I booked my last college spring break to the Dominican Republic not knowing many of the people going. I had never been on a typical college spring break before so I didn’t know what to expect. Little did I know that an existing issue would surface in the midst of our paradise.
My three gal pals and I were excited to meet our fellow spring breakers. The airplane was overtaken with students chirping about the possible activities for the week. The first few days were spent lounging on the beach and playing drinking games at the swim up bar. We kayaked, went scuba diving in the pool and were having THE best time. We couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the week had in store.
By the third day we noticed that we had only made guy friends and the one girl that we did befriend was from one of the larger universities. She was a HOOT, but where were all the other girls anyway? There were preppy private schools and Greek students from state schools mixed in one all-inclusive resort and it made for an interesting clash.
There were sporty one pieces and colorful string bikinis floating around the palm tree covered beaches and wading up to the swim up bar. We spotted girls in gym shorts clashing against booty shorts, crop tops, and floral dresses going out to the bars and clubs as the day turned into night. Nothing was wrong with either crowd, to each their own, right?
I could tell something was stirring in every girl’s mind.
“WHAT is she wearing?”
“Well, she’s asking for it tonight.”
“That girl is wearing gym shorts… out.”
Meanwhile, I was just hoping I didn’t have to go braless the whole trip because all of my bras were somehow left at home where they didn’t belong.
All of the comments floating through the air made for a very judgmental atmosphere. I felt like I was sitting on the side lines waiting for the cat fight scene from Mean Girls to break out. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic… but you get the point.
The worst part was that we were caught in the middle no matter how hard we tried to flee because everyone was a victim. Although the issue was swindling in the nooks of everyone’s minds, it was pushed back there for the time being.
It was the beginning of the night and we all had just gotten to the bars. Laughter was flying and everyone was in a great mood. We thought we’d try to break the silence and have a friendly convo with our fellow spring breaker women.
After subtly sizing me up, one girl heard where I went to school, turned her back and did not say another word to me the rest of the trip. That was that. This happened multiple times. Girls (I say girls because women should know better than to act like a kindergartener) just assumed they knew you and your reputation straight away after hearing where you’re from.
Some girls addressed this issue by saying that they thought spring breakers usually brush off all of the school rivalry drama in order to have fun and let loose. As with every group, there were quite a lot of people who were inclusive and friendly and these people knew how to have a good time.
As we tried pushing the prior negative situations out of our minds to focus on more upbeat happenings, everyone met back up for an unofficial pool party the next day. Students flocked toward the DJ and BBQ. After lying low for a little watching the action, my roommate went up to a group of people playing blow up beer pong.
Girl 1: Yeah let’s get a drinking game going.
Roommate: Awesome! Can I join?
Crickets…. The girls paused, looked at her, then turned and left her standing there while they started playing.
Roommate: Do I smell bad? Did people come on spring break to be antisocial?
It was a little odd and unbelievable to witness. It was irritating, but all we could really do was laugh at these kinds of situations.
Spending spring break in the Dominican Republic made me realize how intense the competition between college women really is. These were just a few instances where these kind of encounters happened. Don’t get me wrong, our time in paradise was incredible, but it was appalling that girls were so cliquey and shunned each other like this. Throughout the week my friends and I did make a lot of new friends, of which the majority were guys. I’m not trying to bash other women, that’s the opposite of what I want to do. It saddens me to say that the majority of these college girls were judgmental, antisocial, and quite possessive of their friends they knew prior to the trip.
The problem dives deeper into a social issue that needs to be addressed. Women need to STOP putting each other down because it is not just happening on spring break. The idea that we need to compete to be the prettiest, skinniest, and sexiest to get the most attention needs to be plucked out of our brains and thrown into the wood chipper.
If we stop our negative and judgmental thoughts we might just be able to be friends with the girls from the sorority across the street or that girl who drunkenly gave us the stare down freshman year.
Instead of rejecting the idea of new friends and people who seem different from us, we should be open to meeting new people and enjoying our time with whomever is around. If men are fighting for women’s equality and empowerment, why aren’t we? Let’s ditch the kindergarten habits and stop fighting at recess. I’m going to be cheesy and suggest that we take a listen to John Mayer’s lyrics and realize that the change starts with us making an effort within ourselves to be a positive example for the rest of the world!