Spring break is just around the corner, and for many students that means tans, hangovers and those unpleasant mornings when you wake up with someone whose name you can't quite remember.
Yes, all this can be yours under the guise of "going on vacation," but what's a kid to do when circumstances don't allow for leaving our fair Old Pueblo? While I'd love to tell you to just give up and bury your loser head under the covers for the next week, I'm here to help.
Don't give up. First of all, you're not alone in your spring break loserdom. Several other people will still be in town, and unlike you, a few of them aren't socially awkward lamewads who have no friends to invite them out of town. Some people actually choose (gasp!) to stay in Tucson instead of paying exorbitant rates to stay on culture-deprived, dollar-driven beaches where common sense comes in second place to cheap booze.
So what do those kids know that you don't? Have they found a secret hotspot free of losers like you? Well, probably. But if I told you where it was, I'd have to stop going there.
The truth is that a good time can be had in our humble valley. If you play your cards right, you can accomplish just as much as your Mexico-bound classmates, without avoiding the water.
The first step in achieving spring break bliss is attaining that sun-kissed glow. The days of shorts, flip-flops, tank tops and exposed midriffs are fast approaching, and heaven forbid anyone catch sight of your pasty-white skin. You might be tempted to catch some rays in your backyard or visit one of the many tanning salons that Tucson has to offer, but don't. No, I'm not worried about your chances of getting skin cancer. I am, however, worried about your lack of ingenuity.
Anyone can stay still while tanning, but isn't part of spring break about doing stuff? The weather this time of year is incredibly bearable, so why waste it? This time next month we'll all be dehydrated and warding off heat stroke, so we ought to enjoy the desert while we can.
The best place to catch a glimpse of nature in its natural habitat is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Slather on the SPF 15 and wander through the exhibits about the flora and fauna that surround our collegiate home.
If you're not up for the drive (the winding mountain roads have been known to make even the toughest of folk queasy), grab a partner and head to the Reid Park Zoo. There's something about seeing animals in the spring that makes you feel like a kid again, and that's something we can all use after midterms.
Now that you're tan, you're one-third of the way to an enjoyable spring break. The next step involves liquor and lots of it. A hangover is a trophy for tried-and-true spring breakers. I'm not condoning underage drinking or alcohol abuse or not knowing your limits, but hangovers happen.
The No. 1 cause? Tequila. The No. 1 cure? A bloody mary.
Back to the tequila - nothing screams "Party time, spring break-style!" like a margarita. According to "íToma! Margaritas! The Original Guide to Margaritas and Tequila" by Robert Plotkin and Ray Flores, the basic margarita consists of 1 oz. Silver tequila, 1 oz. Triple Sec, 1 oz. Rose's Lime Juice and 1 1/2 oz. Sweet 'n' Sour mix, but experiment until it's right for you.
Hangover under your belt, you're now ready for that final step: exploiting the meat market for all you're worth. With spring break claiming a large chunk of the clientele of such places as Maloney's and O'Malley's, even a friendless loser such as yourself should have no trouble finding a place to sit.
With the majority of the attractive people on vacation, you should have no trouble meeting Mr. or Ms. Right Now. There are plenty of concerts to find people at; check the GoWild calendar.
There you have it - you can experience all that spring break has to offer without leaving the county. You'll come back to classes feeling refreshed, with stories of your amazing time to share with your sunburnt friends.
Believe me, they'll be jealous of all you experienced, as well as of the fact that not one of your meals came from a cart by the side of the road.