I graduated high school in June and the week that followed graduation was filled with questions like, “Where am I staying this weekend?” Or “What trouble I was going to cause during senior week?”
I had always figured I’d work during senior week, just as I had the years before. And besides, I did not want to be associated with Senior Week and the negative connotations that came with it.
Senior Week to the locals is dreaded. A lot of Ocean City is geared toward Family Fun, including no smoking or foul language on the boardwalk. But the two weeks following high school and college graduations the whole scene changes. There are drugs, alcohol abuse, blatant recklessness, and even some deaths. But how dangerous Ocean City is in June cannot be blamed solely on the seniors that come to celebrate graduation, there are a lot of factors that play into the danger of that particular month.
Nine of the twelve months of the year Ocean City has the population of a rural community. May of the hotels and restaurants close for the season, and all the Boardwalk rides are closed November through March. If you stand out on the beach all that can be heard are the waves and the seagulls. The Boardwalk is empty; Ocean City looks like a ghost town. June is the first month where Ocean City has crowds of people every day and businesses, the police department and the locals have to adapt. June is a sudden shift from having hundreds of people in town, to thousands.
Crime cannot be covered as easily, people get away with minor offenses sometimes. And it can be anybody, though seniors are the usual culprit for that kind of thing, because we have followed the rules and been relatively good students for twelve years and see senior week as our opportunity to be free. So during June right after graduation we can be reckless and do stupid things and throw parties into the early morning.
That comes to the next reason why Ocean City can be dangerous in June. There isn’t a late night high school or senior party out there where no one has brought drugs. As new adults or even still as students we are a great target for drugs. We need to stay up late for studying, we need to be energetic and alive in class, we need stress relievers and ways to ignore the world and shut it all out and that is what drugs do. They make us look cool and dangerous, or make it easier to lighten up and have fun, but not all drug dealers are nice people, not all play by rules or sell what they’re advertising. And whenOcean City is full of seniors in June, it is also full of people there just to sell drugs to us. They are the ones that can cause the most deaths, if it’s from fights, or over doses.
The danger of June is not just senior’s fault, it is the fault of anyone making rash decisions during a time where safety cannot be kept up on as easily, and by July people can keep up easier, but until then be safe.