Finding the real point of spring break

Alex Lindley

This spring break I found myself seven and a half miles up a trail on the tallest mountain in Georgia, the Brasstown Bald. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

The dirt-colored trail snaked lazily up and around the sides of the mountain like tinsel draped over an enormous Christmas tree. All at once I felt as insignificant as a dust speck and as important as a king. The skies above me were spacious, and the endless, surrounding mountains were majestic … and purple, just like the song.

Maybe it was the thin air, but something about being that high up made me dizzy.

I thought about how feeble and pathetic the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, towering over Dubai at 2,717 feet, would look from where I was standing. The Brasstown Bald is 4,784 feet tall.

The Georgia mountains were an amazing spring break experience. I hadn’t seen anything so beautiful since spring break last year on the beaches of St. George Island. In addition to being relaxing and fun, spring break got me thinking: why do college students go to places like the beach or the mountains for spring break?

Mountains give us the opportunity to get above and away from everything manmade. The beach gives us the excuse to sit in the sand on the edge of one of the most vast and unconquerable forces of nature: the ocean.

It seems we like to bring ourselves closer to the unknown and see the world from a different angle. It makes sense for college students to have this urge since college itself is like the beach on the edge of the rest of our lives, filled with innumerable opportunities and possibilities.

Maybe our grandchildren will go to space for spring break in pursuit of the same feeling generations of college students have pursued, in the same sense of adventure.

Of course, spring break is about fun, and many students would laugh at the idea that going to Gulf Shores represents some underlying need to be near the parts of nature yet undestroyed by human beings. But those students should consider why exactly it is that they like going to the beach, besides the parties and the drinking, which could go on right here in Florence on any given weekend.

The view from the mountain was breathtaking, but one of the most stunning sights was the trail itself. The mountain literally sparkled with countless shimmering rocks scattered everywhere. They were gold, silver and crimson.

The entire hike was dreamlike and sublime, and it completely removed me from school, homework, work and stress-all the while giving me a chance to be close to the unconquerable forces of nature. It was spring break in its truest form.