• Michael Colton

Dear Dante, Season 7

By Michael Colton


Dear Dante,


What do kids at this school do for spring break? It’s coming up and, honestly, I have no idea how to make a plan for the week. A couple of my (crazier) friends are planning a ski trip to Vermont, but I’m kinda worried about falling behind on my work if I go with them. Any tips on making the most of spring break without jeopardizing the rest of my semester?


–SEAS ’25


Dear SPRING BREAKER,


You’re not alone in feeling stressed out or overwhelmed ahead of break. It’s no easy thing to balance your social life with your academic routines when approaching a week-long gap in the semester, and you’re definitely not alone in trying to find the right way to do so. There are, to be sure, dozens of students at this school who struggle with this same thing. I like to refer to this bunch as: Not Invited to Miami.


A few years back, I was a boring, nervous first-year, not unlike yourself (although definitely a little more confident, and not very boring at all). I was in the same position you are now; just two weeks out of break, I had no real plans set and little desire to risk a dip in my stellar GPA. Something changed for me, however, when I saw how all of the most popular, interesting, and all-around likable people I knew were spending the week. That’s to say, all the cooler kids do go on Spring Break, and they were absolutely right to bully me for ever considering staying on campus for the week.


I’m kidding, of course. I’ve never been bullied. And I’ve also never once considered skipping Spring Break. If I had, I never would have made it to where I am now, i.e., on the personal contact lists of Pitbull, Matthew McConaughey, and Christina Aguilera. I guess what I’m saying is, you need to change course, and to do so quickly. Let’s chat logistics.



Illustration by Aeja Rosette

My first piece of advice is one you should expect if you ever read my column, which I doubt you have, given your trepidation and clear lack of party experience. It’s fairly simple, and it goes like this: ditch your loser friends, they’re holding you back. I know you’re looking to feel included, but I beg of you, find someone else to include you. If the best that your “crazier friends” can do is plan a trip to Vermont, then you’re surrounded by a bunch of accountants. The only thing “crazy” about a trip to Vermont is the amount of burnt orange Patagonia merchandise you will come across. You’re better off leaving that crowd behind and heading to the Sunshine State where, at worst, you’ll have front row seats to a Channing Tatum look-alike contest.


In terms of preparing financially for your one week of authentic college life, I’d suggest inheriting a huge sum of money from a late relative. If that’s not an option, I’m sure your parents can cover it. You’ll need a healthy dose of greenbacks in order to “make the most” of the week. Just working back-of-the-envelope, I’d say about $6,000 dollars should be enough—about 300 for an iPhone 12 Pro fisheye lens, a few hundred more for to rent a Tesla, and about a thousand more for rental/personal liability insurance on the car and yourself (you absolutely have to use the self-drive feature if you want to fit in down South). The remainder is on reserve for either gambling or investment into DJ Khaled’s new line of cryptocurrency. Housing should, of course, also be hooked up by your family. I’d recommend finding a close relative or family friend with a house right on the beach—that’s where I met Christina.


Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address your question about keeping up with schoolwork while you’re on vacation. This is me addressing that.


Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you about what Pitbull said to me when I first met him. We were walking the white sands, chatting about our favorite brands, when he looked me dead in the face and said, “Dante, live life. Don’t let life live you.” Afterward, we raced through the sea on jet skis. With the salt kissing our cheeks and the wind brushing through our hair, we were invincible—that is, until he crashed into a small fishing vessel. That clumsy goofball hardly even noticed, and that’s when I knew his advice was genuine. There’s something about watching a man book it away from a shipwreck while smoking a cigar that just screams confidence and class. And isn’t that what spring break is all about? I mean, you clearly have no idea. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn! It’s as simple as having a lot of money, forgetting about your school work, and impressing a mid-tier rapper with your knowledge of his lyrics.


Dale.


Happy vacationing,

Dante


P.S. If you see me in Miami, just, like, be cool.



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