Maybe Mother Nature was cashing in her I.O.U. for all those hurricane days USF students enjoyed last semester. Looking back on the five dreary weekdays that Spring Break 2005 brought students, it seems we were paying our dues for Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.
For the most part we just got ugly rain, but News Channel 8 reported a tornado in Seminole Heights. Though these were not catastrophic conditions, they were certainly dismal enough to deter beachgoers and ruin tanning aspirations.
Some students had the foresight — or perhaps just the luck — to get out of town.
Junior Robert Rios fled east to Daytona Beach. Since MTV made it a Spring Break icon in the mid-80s, Daytona has been a hot spot for Spring Breakers. However, this year’s festivities were dampened by the cold and rainy weather. “It was horrible,” Rios said. “One day I just sat around in a room with 10 people.”
Whenever weather seemed to improve, deck parties and Beer olympics were the celebrations. According to Rios, beer olympics means, “you chug a beer at one end of the pool, then swim to the other end to tag the next person on your team.”
Further north, freshman Jaci Groover went in search of cold weather and precipitation in its more exciting snow form. She spent the week on the ski slopes in Colorado. In order to enjoy her trip, her body had to adjust to Colorado’s heights.
“I have altitude sickness. I’ve been in bed all day,” she said.
Even for those who were not suffering from altitude sickness, bed was a common place to find USF students this Spring Break. Junior Terra Hall admitted, “I spent most of Spring Break reading in bed or sleeping.” Hall had planned to catch up on class reading while lying in the sun, but the capricious Florida weather ruined the more appealing part of her plan.
As Hall optimistically noted, those USF students that did stay in the gloomy Tampa Bay area for Spring Break certainly have one consolation that students from northern universities cannot claim: “At least we didn’t have to pay to come to this!”