Tuesday, June 25

When making summer plans, consult Ferris


As I sat in class pondering if Ferris, Sloane and Cameron ever
developed into a love triangle, it suddenly occurred to me that I
really should be paying attention to more pressing matters. No, not
the professor’s lecture on Victorian manners. I’m
talking about something far more imperative, something that
requires my immediate attention. Yes, I’m talking about
summer vacation plans.

(Attention: If you’re getting a job and/or enrolling in
summer school, read on anyway.)

Early, you say? Only spring, you argue? Apparently you
haven’t the faintest idea how sluggishly college students
function. The longer you wait, the more you pay. I’m already
getting daily phone calls, idle threats and the evil eye from my
fellow summer vacationers.

A college student’s highest priority after spring break
should be determining a summer destination. You should have had a
rough draft of where you want to go completed before spring quarter
even started, before you wiped the sand off the bottom of your
feet, and even before the tequila had a chance to leave your
system. Planning, after all, is what college is all about.

Were Ferris Bueller planning his summer vacation, he already
would have been on summer vacation ““ halfway to Florida as a
matter of fact. Unlike the Shermer High wise guy, many of us lack
such initiative, ingenuity and in-your-face bravado. Thus, we
should all adopt the WWFD (What Would Ferris Do?) approach to
planning for summer.

Made it in 14.5 minutes ““ still my best
friend?

If your friends haven’t pestered you about your vacation
plans yet, then you’d better start pestering them. College
students are notorious for two things: procrastination and lack of
commitment. Don’t you hate that friend who could never commit
to anything until the very last minute? Maybe you are that friend.
Those plane tickets are only going to get more expensive, and hotel
reservations are going to be gone in the next 15 minutes.

We’ve got bigger fish to fry than the Windy
City.

Europe, Asia and South America all score high on the exotic
scale. Backpacking through countries where English-speaking
inhabitants are few and far between can be frustrating at first but
extremely rewarding once you start bonding with the natives, who
proceed to offer you beer on the house. If you want to stay
domestic, try spearheading a road trip to all 30 major league
ballparks. Remember, as Ferris would say, “The question
isn’t, “˜What are we going to do?’ The question is
“˜What aren’t we going to do?’” Whatever you
do, think big.

By air or by sea or by a 1961 Ferrari 250GT
California.

Unless you can steal the keys to your dad’s sports car,
you won’t be cruising with the top down, feeling like a
million bucks. Instead, you’ll be traveling in style via
public transportation. For those without frequent flyer miles, you
need to purchase your plane tickets now. There’s not even a
punch line here. I’m dead serious. Look at my dead serious
eyes. Get them now.

You’re no Abe Froman.

Whether you’re staying at hostels or hotels, you must
decide the number of people per room, or worse yet, per bed.
Let’s face it ““ you’re not the Sausage King of
Chicago. You might have graduated from six-to-a-room to
four-to-a-room thanks to that bartending gig, but it’s
unlikely you’re getting your own bed. That means you and your
bed mate better start learning how to sleep without touching each
other.

Who’s going to be your Sloane and
Cameron?

In other words, pick your lady friend and sidekick. It’s
all about the company you keep that makes the drunken rampage
through Amsterdam worthwhile. If you agree with my little adage,
then you’d better round up your buddies and start
coordinating, which can be a headache when 10 people want to go to
10 different vacation spots.

Don’t pull an Ed Rooney or a Jeannie
Bueller.

Don’t ruin other people’s fun. Don’t be the
guy who bum-rushes into a crew at the last second, forcing
everybody to adjust travel and living arrangements. Or else your
fellow vacationers are going to get snooty.

E-mail Chang at [email protected]

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