Students deserve independence during beach week


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Bethany Beach, pictured above, is the most popular location for beach week. Some students choose to go to other beaches or locations instead.

With all the stress and anxiety of applying to colleges finally, all said and done, beach week is the perfect relaxing end to students’ senior years. This week is normally in the middle of June, right after graduation and takes place at Bethany Beach. Different friend groups prefer different set ups, with some going to different locations or going to different weeks of the year depending on schedules.

Even though beach week can vary, without a doubt, the anticipation for beach week is felt throughout the entire senior class after their last day. However excited seniors are for this fun taste of college life, the week brings its own controversy as well. Parents fear for their kids safety in such a rules-free and independent environment, especially with beach weeks’ reputation for drugs and parties.

It’s not just parents though, Airbnb and house renters are worried for the safety of their houses as well. Beach week rent agreements often come with many many rules, instituted by the owners of the house and the parents of the seniors staying there. These include having multiple parent chaperones come along, not allowing outside people inside the house other than the ones staying there and a variety of curfews being instituted.

While some seniors are okay with the rules, others feel the need for so many limitations is contradictory with the independence offered in college.

Many of these rules have to do with beach week being held in Bethany with many other high schoolers around, and parents are worried about the peer pressure and partying that comes with that. Some students found alternative locations to hold their beach weeks to avoid the rules. Senior David Riveros and his friends are going to New York City instead of Bethany Beach for their beach week.

“The beach seemed fun but my friends and I weren’t interested in the drama and stuff that comes with it,” Riveros said.

At the end of the day, beach week is supposed to be an opportunity for seniors to celebrate their graduation from high school and mark the beginning of their adult life in college. It should be a taste of what life is like to come, and all the rules and regulations end up being more reminiscent of high school. Parents should use this as an opportunity to test out seniors’ newfound independence and help them learn from whatever mistakes they make before they leave for college. The more parents try to control their kids’ actions, the more their kids will feel the need to go to extremes once they leave for college and potentially hurt themselves in the process. Giving seniors the opportunity to have fun and make their own choices now ensures that they’ll be responsible once they leave for college and they’ll understand their own personal boundaries.