This past spring break the majority of our freshman class honored the tradition of spending their first weekend of spring break in the beach houses of Gulf Shores, Alabama. You might have heard the rumors and warnings that everyone dies, or at least leads ends up feeling gross and burnt out by Sunday. Don’t worry because I got you covered. Here’s a few tips you should know before going on the trip:
1. Vanderbilt Takeover
Mostly, it’s a Greek life thing, with a sorority and fraternity splitting a beach house together. However, there were houses made up of a mix of girls and guys from different sororities and frats, and some houses had people that weren’t in Greek life at all. All the different house groups try to get houses near each other, about three minute walks away. Imagine Greek row transported into a beach town, and you’ll have our neighborhood. Some houses were small and cockroach infested and some were bigger and could fit five comfortably in a room; some were on the beach, and all had their own pools. It really depends on how much you’re willing to pay for it (about 200 dollars each for a pretty big house). Don’t listen to the rumors of bringing your own linens and sleeping on floors; even the smallest houses had adequate beds and bedding. There’s pool parties during the day with spontaneous breaks for dancing around on the beach and then at night more frat parties.
2. Food Options
Now let’s talk about why we didn’t starve. When asking about Gulf, one girl I talked to told me how she only ate cheez-its the entire weekend except for when by a miracle a frat boy gave her a hotdog. So I filled a bag with cheese, butter, bagels, poptarts, chips, cereal and popcorn, only to find out upon arrival that about a five minute walk from my house, and most other houses, was a restaurant and a drugstore, something never mentioned by any upperclassmen. Even though my butter and cheese were stolen from the refrigerator, I never starved because I could just walk down the street. Honestly if I had known this, I probably would have just packed a few poptarts and been done.
3. Keeping Up With Your Stuff
Be open to the idea of things not going perfectly and be prepared to lose clothes and toiletries. I bought three pairs of flip flips over the course of the trip and lost all of them; I lost a beach towel within seconds of taking it on to the beach. I know a lot of my friends stole t-shirts and jackets from rooms when they were too tired and cold to care, and it’s so easy to mix up your clothes and toiletries when so many people are living in a room.