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Student Life

You've seen them going wild on TV - but is this what student holidays are really like?


You’d be lying if you said that you’d never woken up the morning after a rough night out, cringing over your wild antics the night before. But what’s worse than being bantered into the ground by all your friends for your drunken frolics? The stone-cold look on your parents' faces when they tap you on the shoulder and tell you they’ve been watching your every mucky move on TV.

'Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents' is a British documentary/reality show that leaves you laughing at others' expense and dreading the thought of that ever happening to you.

The BBC has shown what they think kids get up to on their holidays, and it looks wild. But is this a fair representation of teenagers of Britain? With a range of people featuring on the show, from self-proclaimed ladies' men to not-so-innocent daddy’s girls, BBC 3 follows the antics of wet, wild teens embarrassing themselves, while their parents secretly watch predictable events as they pan out.

Are all student holidays really this mad? Club18-30 offers deals and getaways for young men and women to popular destinations like Malia, Ibiza and Ayia Napa. With an average age of 19 and a third of customers on holiday without their parents for the first time, the company certainly has a bit of a reputation for providing holiday memories good and bad.

Student Nathan Smyth, 20, who booked with Club18-30 through travel agent Thomas Cook, said: “I’m going on holiday to get girls and have a good time; I really don’t want my parents in my business. It’s all about going out getting slaughtered and banging birds.”

And who said chivalry was dead?

Travel agent Rachel Green, 19, said: “Being their age I kind of know what they’re after so I can book them the best deals. It gets busy round this time of year. It’s the best time to book a summer holiday, I’ve been getting groups of boys and girls coming into the office already paying off their holiday. It seems like Magaluf is the hot spot this year.”

It's not all positive vibes and full-on lash, however. English and history graduate Lauren Anthony, 22, described her trip two-week trip to Zante as 'the worst experience of her life' and if she could, she’d give it 'a thousand thumbs down'. The Galapagos Islands would be her ideal holiday, she added.

“The whole concept [of wild student holidays] is riddled with STIs and vomit. However each to their own – it just wasn’t for me,” she said.

Parents would have to be crazy to think that when their kids go away on these summer holidays that it’s just to 'relax'. But they’d have to be crazy to actually want to go and see all the ‘relaxing’ we get up to.

When asked on what he’d do if his parents were watching him on holiday, student Arnie Galloway, 18, joked that 'someone would get knocked out' - most likely himself.

“I’d hate for that to happen to me, the whole point of me going away is to get away from my parents and everything back home. If I found out they were watching me I’d be so embarrassed – especially with what me and my friends get up to.”

Arnie’s views were echoed by 22-year-old holiday rep Jason Conwick, who worked in Magaluf for four months.

“It was the best experience of my life and I would recommend it to anyone. I’d do it again in a heartbeat, people come here to have a good time and you hear a hell of a lot of funny stories.”

Imagine it was you. Imagine you went away on your first summer holiday abroad without your parents to get up to all kinds of madness, only to find out they were secretly watching your every move.  Who would be more embarrassed; you or your parents?

Some of the names in this article have been changed to protect the innocent.

Daniel is studying BA Journalism at London Metropolitan University. He is the editor of his university's online paper The Holloway Express and has a growing passion for reporting and an eye for a story. Follow him on Twitter here.