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Tuesday Talks With Tomka: Johnson County’s Spring Break

A week-long staycation made me realize just how abnormal kids’ lives are in Johnson County.

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Tuesday Talks With Tomka: Johnson County’s Spring Break

Senior Anna Tomka reads “Beloved” by Toni Morrison while on a dorm room bed in Columbia, Missouri, as the farthest she went this Spring Break was The University of Missouri.

Senior Anna Tomka reads “Beloved” by Toni Morrison while on a dorm room bed in Columbia, Missouri, as the farthest she went this Spring Break was The University of Missouri.

Submitted by Anna Tomka

Senior Anna Tomka reads “Beloved” by Toni Morrison while on a dorm room bed in Columbia, Missouri, as the farthest she went this Spring Break was The University of Missouri.

Submitted by Anna Tomka

Submitted by Anna Tomka

Senior Anna Tomka reads “Beloved” by Toni Morrison while on a dorm room bed in Columbia, Missouri, as the farthest she went this Spring Break was The University of Missouri.

Anna Tomka, Print Managing Editor

I have always been self-aware of the tight bubble I live in. Kids in these wealthy suburbs of Kansas City have become so accustomed to their privileged lifestyles that many of them are completely blind to the fact that their lives are nowhere near normal. Johnson County was ranked one of the ‘easiest’ places to live in the United States, according to a study by The New York Times. I am in no way complaining of the lifestyle I have been given, but I do think we all need a reality check that our way of life is not ordinary. When I was able to travel to visit my exchange student in Australia over Christmas, I appreciated it and made sure to be grateful because it was an amazing opportunity many do not get to have. Senior spring break has been another eye-opener for me, and I am sure after the hundreds of posts from spring-breakers on Instagram this past week, it has been for others.

Elaborate plans for spring break were formed by senior students almost a year in advance, and months before departure students spent valuable time in class mesmerized by countless online sales of the finest clothes to wear on the beach instead of utilizing time to learn. Discussions of “who was buying which swimsuit top” was the trending topic of numerous classes. It would be such a royal travesty if anyone had an identical top to someone else’s. Ironically, the $13,000 parents are spending on tuition each year is being used for their daughters to online shop and plot the perfect vacation to spend even more of their money.

But can you blame these kids? Part of the problem lies with the parents who groom their high-schoolers to believe it is absolutely acceptable they demand to go to an exotic country for a week with their teenage friends. A “stay-cation” is unacceptable and tragic in their judgemental eyes. No one in the JoCo bubble hesitates to spend the thousands of dollars so their kids can take advantage of the lowered drinking age because their small, elite society advertises it as worthwhile.

I spent my break at home. Occasionally, I got bored because my friends were away, but in all honesty, I didn’t wish to be elsewhere. I know it’s hard to believe that Mexico and the Cayman Islands were not appealing to me, but it’s the truth. If I were to travel to these foreign places, I would want to actually explore rather than be contained within a luxury resort or villa. The drinking age of 18 shouldn’t be the motivation for kids to travel to these foreign places. These high schoolers stress so much over what pictures to post of their trip on Instagram that they miss out on living in the moment. Remaining home over spring break is shocking to so many people in the bubble, but the majority of people living outside of it would be stupefied by the alternative.

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Anna Tomka, Print Managing Editor


Walkout Song: “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega
Guilty Pleasure: Cheese Because I’m Allergic
Favorite Food: Pasta
Favorite TV Show: “Game...

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