As graduation gets ever so close, it brings with it many things. Aside from graduation parties, commencement ceremonies, and yearbook signings, seniors will have something else to look forward to...senior week.
Senior week is a week away from all the madness. Some seniors go in big groups, others go with close friends, and some people choose not to go. Regardless, the tradition of going to the beach with your friends sometime after graduation has been around for a long time. It's definitely a big responsibility to go to the beach by yourself, but it is good practice for what is to come. Yes, you're with all your friends, but you need to rely on yourself to get certain things done. In my opinion, senior week is something everyone should experience before going to college.
I know that senior week is right around the corner, so seniors won't really benefit from my advice, but here's some ideas to make senior week more enjoyable for future seniors:
-Go with a solid group of friends so there isn't petty drama the whole week.
-Plan early because houses and hotels are hard to find closer to beach season.
-Get a job to help pay for it. This takes your parents out of the equation and puts it on your shoulders.
-Make sure there are people who are willing to drive. Don't put this off until the week before you leave.
-Pack light, but efficient. You're going to need the basics, but leave all the fancy stuff at home.
-Go over your lease with the whol group. Make sure everyone knows what they're responsible for.The most important thing is to, of course, have fun. Do it the right way, and senior week will be a blast.
Here’s our guide to surviving Senior Week:
1. Be smart when you’re packing – especially your food and drinks.
Be sure to pack plenty of nutritious snacks, meals and beverages in addition to your celebratory drinks and cheap breakfast pastries. Pauline Wallin, a licensed psychologist in Camp Hill, said grads should aim to eat at least one balanced meal a day.
An easy way to do this is to make your meals beforehand and freeze them when you get to the beach. Love your mom’s veggie lasagna? Ask her to donate a pan to the cause. Then all you have to do while you’re vacationing is heat it up.
If everyone brings a covered dish, then you don’t have to go out to eat so much, and you’ll save a lot of money, said Hilary Radic, 21, of Swatara Township.
And a note on nutrition: You’re inevitably going to get the late-night munchies and sprint to the nearest pizza joint. That’s OK, sometimes. But pack these healthy snacks, too, to satisfy those cravings, according to fitday.com:
2. Call your parents before they call you.
Then they’ll leave you alone.
“Parents nag because they worry, but if you keep them informed of where you are, when you get back, your parents won’t worry as much, and they’ll ask fewer questions,” Wallin said.
Listen up. Your parents are going to call you. It’s just going to happen. Set aside a time once a day when you can take a few moments and call them (not text them) to reassure mom and dad that you’re OK. Send them snapshots of you and your friends having fun in a safe way, like when you’re playing mini-golf or building a fort in the sand.
3. If you’re under 21, don’t drink.
Senior Week is a time to celebrate your accomplishments over four years of high school – don’t ruin it by doing something stupid with alcohol.
“If you’re under 21, you’re not legally allowed to drink. At 18, it can go on your record and affect getting a job later,” Wallin said.
4. When you don’t listen to No. 3, just be responsible.
Police in popular beach destinations crack down during Senior Week on underage drinking, according to Chief Keith Banks of the Rehoboth Beach Police Department. Think the cops turn a blind eye to this stuff? Think again.
"We do take it very seriously and because of that, they could lose their driver's license," Banks said. "It's a criminal offense and goes on their record."
If a person is cited for underage drinking, they'll likely have to pay a fine, come back to the area for court, or worse – Banks said many students have had scholarships to college revoked because of one citation during Senior Week.
On a given night, grads can be seen falling on the ground, too intoxicated to stand. They’ll be drunk in public, vomiting on the boardwalk, the list goes on and on. Be careful when you’re drinking and be safe about it. If you’re intoxicated, stay inside. And whatever you do, don’t get behind the wheel.
"We don't want them to get behind the wheel or cause an accident," Banks said, "Or kill someone."
If you're headed to Ocean City, Md., sign up for the Play It Safe program. There's access to free concerts, laser tag and other activities. The best part? You'll get a free wristband which lets you use the bus system for a week, at no charge to you. So park your car and avoid a DUI.
And one last trick of the trade: Disorderly conduct is a real thing that police are searching for. Don't do things like standing on your porch at 3 a.m. and yelling "YOOOO WE IN OCEAN CITY" because officers are patrolling and you'll probably get a disorderly conduct citation. And maybe busted for underage drinking.
5. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a future employer to see on Facebook.
Think you look great in that shot of you owning your arch enemy at beer pong, or maybe that super cute photo of you and your bff winning a case race? Leave it on your iPhone.
“Don’t post pictures or let yourself get tagged in anyone else’s photo of you. Employers are looking at Facebook now,” Wallin said.
She’s not kidding. According to a 2012 study commissioned by CareerBuilder, 37 percent of employers are using Facebook to prescreen job applicants. We’re guessing they won’t love your pong pics.
6. Get enough sleep.
Whether that begins at 10 p.m. or 2 a.m., you know the drill. Shoot for eight hours of sleep a night so you can revitalize your body and recharge for the next day.
“You can’t run on no sleep. At some point, take a nap," Wallin said. "Sleep deprivation can affect your judgment and can make you prone to accidents."
7. Never go off by yourself and have a support system with you.
Christina O’Donnell, 21, of Lower Paxton Township, went to Senior Week after her graduation in 2010 and said one her biggest tips is to always stay with someone you know. Remember the buddy system from elementary school? In a town flooded with thousands of visitors – many of which may be drinking or using drugs – it’s important you have someone to be with.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, youth who drink are more likely to carry out or be the victim of physical or sexual assault. Drunken fights are common, and Banks said those who in engage in that type of behavior will be arrested for it.
8. Stay hydrated.
With average temperatures reaching the scorching level in June, dehydration is a force to be reckoned with. Adding alcohol – a diuretic that causes more frequent urination – to the mix can be add to the problem.
Drink plenty of water to stay healthy and happy. Take a break from beer pong and play a round of water pong. Or, have a funnel with you for, er, sand? Clean out the sand (beer) and fill the funnel with water and drink up. See? Rehydration is fun.
9. Be careful with tattoos and piercings.
Just when you start to think it’s a great idea to tat your new girl or guy’s name on your backside, take a step away from the tattoo parlor.
According to WebMD’s skin division, there’s a litter of questions you should ask before you get a tattoo or piercing to be sure the studio you’re going to is clean and safe. Are sterile needles being used? What training does the artist have? What type of sterilization processes are used in the facility? Keep these questions and more in mind before you get that jewel on your bellybutton. Or elsewhere.
10. Have fun, and don’t let your week be ruined by bad decision-making.
Senior Week can be the time of your life if you act responsibly, take care of yourself and look out for your friends. Don’t come home to central Pennsylvania with a citation – or worse.
A version of this was found on Penn Live
How to afford Senior Week for the newly 2014 graduate!
The caps have been thrown, the yearbooks have been signed and the parents have been convinced – Senior Week 2014 is right around the corner. But seniors, there are some tips of the trade you should listen to before you pack up your bathing suits (and maybe your beer +21) and head to the beach. There have been many posts and questions asked about how much it costs for Senior Week, we at My Senior Week wanted to help guide you in the right direction. (Top 10 Tips for Senior Week)
First off finding a rental or place to stay during senior week can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands! If you want to be right on the boardwalk and closer to the inlet then you will be paying premium dollar for your housing. If you can choose to be in the higher streets it will decrease the rental price. Looking for a senior week friendly house is hard because most seniors get a bad reputation from past years. Noise violations, drug use and extra people in your rental are just a few reasons you can automatically become evicted. If you want to learn more check out the "Busted" section.
Staying at senior week for a week means 7 days of fun! It also means over 21 meals (lots of water), H20 Nite Club entrance money ($10 before 8:30 and $20 after), T-shirts memorabilia, suntan lotion (because everyone forgets it), and lots of other expenses. Even being smart with your money you are going to need at least $500 to $1000. Keeping at least $100 in cash is also helpful as most places on the boardwalk take cash, though they are slowly switching to taking credit cards.
Where are you located?H2O is located on Worcester Street, right of the Boardwalk. Worcester Street is 5 blocks south of the Rt. 50 bridge. If driving from the north, turn left at the water tower located in the Worcester Street parking lot.
What are the age restrictions?By city ordinance, anyone entering H2O must be at least 15 years old and cannot be over 20. There are no exceptions.
What if I don't have an ID?It is always best if you have some form of ID from the state or your school. If not, a parent or guardian can verify your age or we will ask you some questions that will help us determine your age. If you are older than 18, H2O requires some form of ID.
What if I am under 20 but my friend is 21 or older?We are sorry but we cannot allow anyone older than 20 to enter H2O. Unfortunately, there are no clubs in Ocean City that allow a mix of over and under 21.
What are your hours of operation?H2O opens at 8:30pm and must close no later than 12:45am.
How much does it cost to enter H2O?The best deal is to be in line before 8:30 and it is only $10, which is half off the regular, full price admission of $20. You can also get a discount off the full price admission using a coupon from this web site.
Do I just need to be in line by 8:30 to get the half off admission price?Yes. All you have to be is in line. We will stamp your hand which notes the half price admission.
Once you pay, can you leave and re-enter?Yes, you can leave and re-enter as often as you like.
Do you sell any drinks or food?H2O does not sell any food but does sell bottles of water, sodas, sports drinks and Red Bull. Prices range from $2.75 to $4.75.
Are parents allowed to enter?No one over the age of 20 is permitted on premises. For parents interested in checking out H2O, we are always happy to give them a tour.
Is there public transportation that is convenient to H2O?Yes, the city busses run 24 hours a day in the summer and there is a bus stop at the corner of Baltimore Ave. and Worcester Street.
What taxi company would you recommend?H2O highly recommends Taxi Taxi, 410-289-8989. They have a large fleet of taxi cabs, shuttle busses and a party bus. They can accommodate large or small groups and will travel outside of town and to Delaware.
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