Here’s a conversation every college student needs to have before spring break: Find a friend to “get your back” and you’ll be less likely to cross dangerous behavioral lines.
According to a ScienceDaily article, researchers at the University of Michigan found that students who had an understanding with friends about alcohol use and sexual behavior during spring break were less likely to engage in risky activities.
For example, making a pact not to get drunk or have sex with someone new during spring break made students less likely to do those very activities. Similarly, agreeing to use a condom when having sex made students more likely to use a condom.
“It’s important to encourage young people to talk with their friends about being safe during spring break,” [said psychologist and the study’s lead author, Megan Patrick]. “Agreeing that they won’t drink too much or have unprotected sex may have an important protective effect. It’s also important to talk about looking out for each other in case someone does drink too much.”
It’s an uncomfortable topic for many parents, but this research suggests that encouraging your child to negotiate behavior parameters with friends before spring break may make a big difference in whether the vacation memories are happy, unhappy, or missing due to blackout.