Teen pop blasted from the room, neon lights flashing. “Um … I think we are in the wrong place,” my friend muttered. Multiple adults were glaring our way as we peered through the door at the kids’ best attempts to dance, still becoming used to the idea of dancing with the opposite sex. “This is the rockin’ party they told us about?!” It was becoming obvious with the growing anger of the chaperones that the awesome party we had heard about was in reality a twelve-year-old’s birthday party. We debated over crashing the party, or hitting up the seven-layer dip, as we had spent the last hour misting ourselves with smell-good and perfecting our hair so we could get our freak on this particular Saturday night. But apparently our source was a little confused as they guided us to this let-down.
We had anticipated a dance party, and the night was young. We stood in the cold, brainstorming secondary ideas. Where could we find a place to dance and have a crazy night? A no brainer, Vegas of course! Seven of us piled in a five-seated car and we sped down the highway toward Sin City.
Living in Ogden all my life, the most exciting places around were Salt Lake and Logan, both forty-five minutes away, and not exactly a trip to a wild time. So as I settled into Southern Utah, the possibilities for a good time seemed endless, with fun in every direction. I had high expectations and my passion for exploring was quickly becoming a reality.
When a city so ripe in entertainment and options is so close, homework and other responsibilities seem minimal. This spontaneous trip to Vegas all night long left me sleeping all through Sunday, leaving many classes unprepared for, and my biological clock confused. However, I didn’t seem to learn my lesson as history repeated itself once again.
An innocent trip to Café Rio soon transformed into a weekend trip to Malibu with one simple comment about the lovely weather and how perfect a day it would be for the beach. Somehow my plan to pack my laptop, notes, and textbook got left at home in the mad rush to pack treats, a towel and my bathing suit. Responsibility soon went out the window along with our plan to sleep on the beach. (We all ended up squishing into a small PT cruiser to sleep when the raindrops turned into a tsunami and washed us down the sand)
We were all having a grand ol’ time in Santa Monica and Venice beach exploring the warm streets and enjoying the waves via bogey boards. I was absolutely ecstatic about the idea of swimming in the ocean in November when back home up north the bathing suit is buried away in a cardboard box come September, not to see daylight again for months. The sand beneath our toes felt heavenly as always, and sailboats and cruise ships in the distance completed the paradise.
That is until we pulled back into the parking lot of the dorms back home. The cold reminded me that I’m not in Kansas anymore, and my stacks of books and unread emails left me to crave the beach once again. I meant to be responsible, but that didn’t get me very far, or rather it left me too far away to take care of my duties.
Living just beyond the outskirts of Vegas and hours from California may not be a good thing for students like me who yearn for exploration and require weekends of recuperation and change to function properly. However, the temptation and short-term fulfillment always end up with reality smacking you in the face. Monday I woke from my dream of palm trees and surfer boys only to face ultimate fatigue and no time for breakfast as I rushed to class only to be late once again and then on to attempt a seven-page research paper in seventy minutes and to cram two chapters into my head before class began. My mind was still in the palm trees as I retreated to English only to find a reminder posted on the door about class canceled for the day. Feeling like an idiot, I retreated home toward more homework, already exhausted from my jam-packed day at only one o’ clock.
How many times it takes for me to learn my lesson is a mystery to me. Even at this moment I am at my parents’ home for yet another weekend road trip. This time the homework made it with me, but I can’t leave without catching up with my old buddies now can I? Bowling sounds good, or maybe even another Café Rio run …
A great time may be just down the highway, tempting lights and sights ready to entertain us, but consequences follow every action. So adventurer beware; you’re in for a wild ride. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what you leave behind will still be awaiting your return.