UVA Beach Week Survival Guide

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Sunny and 75? More like humid and 91, sweaty, dehydrated and a little paler and chunkier than you thought you were.

That’s Beach Week for you. Yet somehow it can also manage to be one of the most fun college memories you’ll make. At UVA, as well as many other colleges, the week between finals and graduation consists of a caravan of 1,000 of your closest friends down to Myrtle Beach (or your closest trashy, tourist coast town). You’ll drink, relax, and soak up some vitamin D. Take heed from the veterans though, because if you’re not careful, this trip could go south fast (ba dum tss…).

Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots…Lasagna?

If you’ve never been to beach week before, or never on a vacation without your parents, it’s easy to forget that you’ll have to care for yourself. It’s much cheaper to stock up on your own food and alcohol than to go out for every meal. Plus you can knock out that grocery shopping when you arrive and not have to worry about it for the rest of the week. “Bring Lasagna. Carbs are important. Lasagna is important,” said sophomore Joy Fan.

Hydration Station

One thing to not forget though—water bottles. It’s so easy to get dehydrated on the beach in the blazing sun and not realize it before it’s too late. Take caution and even start chugging water a few days in advance to ensure you don’t end up cooped up on your hotel room while everyone else is outside catching rays. When it comes to the more fun version of hydrating, definitely invest in a drink container worthy of Beach Week. “Big gulps are highly recommended. Spend your money on that,” advised sophomore Erin Falvey.

If You’re NOT Like Super Good at Bikini Car Washes

One of the biggest parts of Beach Week is of course spending time on the beach. That means everyone is going to see you in a bikini. Uhm. No thanks. If you’re feeling more Rebel Wilson than Candice Swandepoel leading up to beach week, you still have options. “Invest in a cute cover-up beforehand as opposed to a new suit, It’s totally acceptable to wear it on the beach every day,” said Beach Week veteran Eve Merenghi. On the other hand, if you’re all about channeling body positivity, then wear whatever the hell you want.

It’s Going Down For Real

One big difference between going out during Beach Week and going out at school is that you will mostly go to clubs rather than bars. That means cover charges, crazy dancing, and zero shame. “People are making out in cages all the time. It’s the most ratchet place I’ve ever been,” said sophomore Braden Casady. If you’re down in Myrtle with the UVA crew, you’ll be frequenting the Spanish Galleon. There’s not much you can do to prepare for it. Insightfully put, “Beware of SpeeGee,” said Beach Week All-Star Ross Harding. You know Beach Week has become a tradition when everyone at your school is on a nickname basis with a club seven hours away.

Blame It On The…

You will inevitably make a stupid decision, or do something embarrassing that your friends will never let you forget. “I went with my friend to get her belly button pierced. It got infected a week later. Not advised,” recalled sophomore Sarah MacAdam. Or, if you decide to jump the gun and pregame your arrival from the back seat, take caution when you actually get to your suite. “Don’t get too excited about the room’s balcony or else you’ll smash your face running into a closed glass door,” said sophomore Celina Amados.

So Uh, Listen…Can I Have Yo Numbah?

It’s inevitable. There will be creepers at Beach Week and they are the most persistent of their kind. I suspect the liquid courage and sea of half-naked bodies create such bold individuals. “This random guy followed me around one night, and asked for my number four different times. Four. He even left the club right after me and some friends and followed us to the next bar,” recalled Junior Rachel Alden. Be on the lookout and trust your instincts.

Bring In The Dancing Lobsters

Needless to say, your porcelain skin will not appreciate going unprotected at that lower latitude line. “50 SPF isn’t the sunscreen Myrtle deserved, it’s the sunscreen Myrtle needed,” said sophomore Kenyon Knowles. The added benefit of protecting your skin (other than evading wrinkles, skin cancer, and pain) is that you won’t scare people away. “Wear sunscreen or you will regret every decision you ever made and scream out in pain when someone bumps into you at the club to the point that people will fear you,” said sophomore Barclay Gatten, who has clearly moved past that traumatizing experience…

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite

But DO get sleep. You’ll be basking all-day and dancing all night—your body can only handle so much. Ensure you talk about sleeping arrangements with your roommates on the trip before the first nightfall. “Be prepared to cozy up in between two people just in case the other beds in the room get taken before you get home,” advised sophomore Amanda Selsky. She also made a point to add that packing peanut butter is a must in the midst of this sleep conversation. We are still trying to decipher the connection between the two. Anyhow, take care of yourself and get enough rest. You’re bound to have a much more enjoyable trip.

Homeward Bound

Once beach week comes to an end you may think you’re ready to re-enter the real world. Trust me, you’re not. “Order a juice cleanse to wait for you upon return, you’ll need it,” said senior Alexa Rosenstein. The amount of calories you will intake (and not just from all that food you bought on day one) and the exhaustion will catch up with you by the end of the week. “You’ll need a vacation from your vacation; I set aside a solid four days of no plans for when I get back,” said senior Sarah Dunaye.

Just Remember

Suggested by senior Michelle Brown, there is one thing you should not forget before you migrate south. “Whatever you do—don’t cry. It’s Beach Week.”

Lauren is a third year at the University of Virginia studying English and media. She loves baseball, pretending to do school work but actually watching Netflix, and three square meals of dark chocolate each day.

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