How not to prepare for spring break vacation


By Nadia Sutherland, Reporter

On Aug. 13 I was sitting at a round kitchen table with all my friends when the topic of a spring break trip to Mexico came up. I have never been on an extravagant vacation in my life, so I was down for the adventure.

What I did not know was how much time and effort actually had to be put into planning a trip like this. I am the queen of procrastination. I have been my whole life, and that is not a good trait to have when you only have a few months to prepare and get all your ducks in a row.

The first major step that I had to take was getting my passport, unfortunately, as you likely know you cannot fly to a foreign country without one.

Luckily the process was quick and easy. All I had to do was drive to the St. Louis County Auditor’s Office and apply for one. One hundred dollars later, I was told the passport would be in my hands in four weeks or less. After getting my passport, I did not do anything to prepare for my trip for a few weeks after that, which was a mistake.

The day finally came when I needed to buy my plane tickets:December 23. Buying plane tickets is usually not a hard task for most people, but for me it was difficult, because I have never even been on a plane before. My only advice to whoever reads this is, do not wait until the very last minute to buy your plane tickets because they get crazy expensive.

Plane ticket, check.

I thought to myself, “What else could a person have to do for a trip like this?” Nothing crossed my mind, so I checked out again and a few more months passed by.

It’s now the first day of March and it hit me. I leave for Mexico in a week. I am completely and utterly unprepared. After a few mental breakdowns, I decided to get into my car and drive to Walmart. I was pacing back and forth down the shampoo aisle smelling all different kinds of soaps and shampoos, the scents keeping myself distracted from what I was actually there for, which was sunscreen.

Sunscreen. What a magical thing for a pale person like me. Which one do I buy? I went with the least expensive kind because I am left paying for this entire trip by myself. After I walked out of Walmart with my Equate SPF 70 sunscreen, it occured to me that I probably need to get a manicure before I leave.

The thought of spending more money drove me crazy, but I decided it will be worth it in the end. My appointment was set for the fifth of March, and it took me forever to decide what the color of my nails was going to be. I knew I wanted my nails to be pink, but I was not sure what shade of pink I wanted them to be, which was not a surprise to me. I arrived at the salon around 3:45 p.m., and I left the salon at 4:30 p.m. with five different shades of pink on my fingernails, that’s what being indecisive gets you.

I had one last task to accomplish before I left for my trip, and that was to pack my bag. I sat on my bedroom floor for at least an hour staring at all the clothes that I could bring, having absolutely no idea where to start. Reluctantly I began to throw a few outfits together, and 45 minutes later my bag was finally packed. Seven months seems like an incredibly long time to prepare for a weeklong vacation, but it seemed like time really escaped me.

Procrastination has always been a large part of my life in school. I always wait until the last moment to get my work done, but I never thought that same level of procrastination would come into play when planning for a trip that I was genuinely excited for.

My advice to you, no matter what situation it is, is to avoid putting things off until the last minute. Waiting until the very last minute is never good, because it can cause a lot of unwanted stress. Not only can it cause stress but it can easily become a habit, and cause a poor academic performance.