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City students can't seem to catch a (Spring) break

"Spring Breakers" movie (YouTube)

"Spring Breakers" movie (YouTube) (Credit: "Spring Breakers" movie (YouTube) )

The boozy debauchery depicted in the new movie "Spring Breakers" appears to reflect a world of the past, and not a reality for most New York City college students.

Experts say the steam-releasing antics of spring break are increasingly giving way to staid studying, internships, and anything else to give future graduates an edge in a volatile economy.

"It's a very competitive job market and people are really strapped with debt right now," with college kids worried about diminishing job prospects, said Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, an adjunct assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

The pressures are higher for New York City students, according to Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith, an assistant psychology professor at CUNY.

"Students here don't have that many resources to go (on a beach vacation with friends) and the money they have they prefer to spend in other ways," she said.

Jose Martinez, 20, a junior at NYU, is considering visiting his family in San Antonio, where Spring Break, he said is still "a big deal."

Sivan Bruce, 19, a Columbia economics and sociology major, will be spending part of her vacation following a CUNY sociology professor in an internship.

"You have to do as much as you can to make yourself marketable: 'Good luck on that midterm with the information you'll probably never use for that job you'll never have!' Students here make a lot of jokes like that," she said. As for the days she's not shadowing the professor, "I really just want to get some sleep, honestly," she said.

"In high school, I did things like that. I went to Panama City once," recalled Derek Kim, 18.

Not now, though. This year, the Columbia freshman will be doing a Hallmark television internship with a Columbia alumnus to beef up his marketing skills. "I have a tendency to stress about things like careers," he explained.

Those lucky enough to let loose and grab some rays after a long academic grind are acutely aware that certain past times need not be broadcast on line, where they risk an unfavorable judgment by potential employers.

Quentin Grigsby, 22, a Columbia senior who has a finance job lined up after graduation, will be going to Cabo San Lucas with friends.

The group, he said, has "a pact that all photos have to be approved," before they are posted online. "Everyone here has a post-collegiate career they're looking forward to," Grigsby explained, adding, "You don't want something like Spring Break to get in the way of that."

(with Anna Sanders)

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