Arrested In Mexico: My College Vacation | Bookbyte

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Arrested in Mexico

Dear Savvy,

The turn up was real. My friends and I took a trip to Cancun this year for Spring Break, and things did not go as planned. What started out as an enjoyable vacation quickly turned into a nightmare. A situation occurred in which a few of us got extremely wasted; we exchanged words with some locals and the next thing I know we’re all sitting in a Mexican jail cell.

My parents had no idea I was leaving the country and are more disappointed in me than angry. Savvy, it feels like I destroyed my chance at a better life along with the dreams my family had for me. Unlike my friends, my parents are discouragingly poor and are struggling to pay down my legal expenses. I’m thinking about dropping out of school, working full time to pay them back. I feel this is the right thing to do; am I going about this the right way?


International Screw Up


Dear International,

You most certainly have created a conundrum for yourself. However, only you can decide if your course of action is the right way or right thing to do. How will your parents feel knowing you dropped out of college? Are they paying for your education and the lawyer? Have you shared your thoughts with them? Your parents have every right to be disappointed. You left the country; they didn’t know; you got arrested. Other than your untimely death or disappearance, this is next on the list of things that will send your parents to an early grave.

The savvy college student will reflect on the actions that lead to confinement. Look at your inner-circle. How many of your wealthier friends are concerned with helping you out of the situation they’ve helped you to get into? You may need to reposition some of the people you spend time with. Apologize to your parents. It seems you may be suffering from guilt (this is not a diagnosis). Let your parents know that you are ashamed for putting them in this predicament, violating their trust and causing them to have a panic attack.

Though it seems altruistic to fall on the sword of your poor judgment by dropping out of college to work, I’m sure this is not the decision your parents will want you make. They wanted you to go to college for a reason; paying back a lawyer wasn’t one of them. 

If you absolutely must make this up to your parents – don’t make the same mistake twice and get a summer job. Sure working over the summer might not allow you to pay off all you feel you owe, but your parents will appreciate the effort as you begin to rebuild their trust in you.