Beach Week (Weach Beek) is my favorite holiday of the year. For those of you who don’t know what that means (hello out-of-state/international students, I got you), beach week is the week between the end of finals and graduation weekend where a significant portion of the University community picks up and relocates itself to **North** Myrtle Beach. Everyone hangs out on the same stretch of beach, takes over the hotels (mainly Avista) and houses in that area, and then all go to the Spanish Galleon – referred to as Spee Gee or Speeg (soft ‘g’) – before carrying on with their night in whatever form that may take. The community collectively indulges in sinful behavior and makes all sorts of choices: basically everything stereotypically attributed to COLLEGE SPRING BREAK. And yes, there are families with cute little children that book the cheaper hotels in North Myrtle – compared to the slightly-more-but-not-really nice resort area of Myrtle Beach – unknowingly committing to a week alongside drunk college students celebrating the end of finals.
A couple of general guidelines that you should know are the baseline for beach week behavior:
1) There are no rules. This is COLLEGE NO PARENTS living to the max.
2) You can go to beach week if you don’t drink, but if you do not enjoy being around drunk people, this is not the place for you. People drink all day, maybe nap and rally in the early evening, and then keep drinking and go out all night. Sleep (maybe?) and repeat. THIS IS A FOUR TO FIVE DAY BENDER FOR THE ENTIRE UVA COMMUNITY THAT CHOOSES TO PARTAKE. You’ve been warned.
3) Beach week is UVA Hook Up culture at its finest. That cute guy/girl from your discussion in the Fall? Go for it. That person who always studies in Alderman near your favorite table? Down to clown. That super hot fourth year you can’t believe you never made a move for? Better late than never.
So how do you survive it?
1) Eat and hydrate. You’ve heard this half a million times – but do not drink on an empty stomach. You’ll throw it up anyway and no one wants to see that. I’m not going to tell you to alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, but at least mix with Vitamin Water or something as a change of pace.
2) Safe sex. Not going to preach to you about this – but the beach week mantra is COLLEGE NO PARENTS. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?
3) Don’t let people walk home alone. I know you’re surrounded by UVA students almost the whole time – but it’s still a strange city and the locals know that bike week and college week align every year. This may be your first rodeo, but it’s definitely not theirs.
4) Naps on Naps. Wake up (drink). Beach (drink). NAP. Mini golf (drink). Dinner (drink). NAP. Rally (drink). SPEE GEE (drink). This week is a marathon, not a sprint. Although sometimes it feels like you’re sprinting a marathon – that’s ok. We won’t judge.
Overall – this week is a blast. It’s so many of the UVA people you love hanging out at the beach for one last time. You will never be with all of the same people again. You only get four beach weeks. So make a fool of yourself after your first year. Take advantage of knowing what (and who) you’re doing after second year. Celebrate surviving the end of the hell that is third year and saying goodbye to your fourth friends. And then have one last hoorah with your fourth year friends before you walk with them down the lawn that one, final time.
Goddamn I love Myrtle Beach.