Opinion

Let’s Party? Let’s Not.

default article imageOver the past couple of weeks, I have noticed signs that students have posted in their windows. Some are big, some are small, some are countdowns for different holidays, but the ones that always strike my curiosity are the signs in regards to partying. Most of these partying signs reference the constant college student’s struggle between going out on a week night or studying for that huge test you have the next morning. Many students choose to go out instead of studying, but is that what we are really here for?

One sign that sticks out in my memory glorified how in college you can retake a class, but you cannot retake a party. This blows my mind. I do not know about anyone else here, but to attend the University, I am looking at paying about $14,000 per semester in order to take the minimum four classes. This total is not even including living arrangements or meal plans. On average, students pay about $23,000 each semester when you add up lab’s, special class fees, housing, books, etc. Personally, I am not paying $23,000 to party every night of the week. Please tell me if there are any people who would.

As a junior here at the University, I have witnessed many of my peers pay tuition only to skip class habitually and party every night. Most of these students were either pulled out of school by their parents or worse, failed out before they could get back on the right track. Unfortunately, I have met countless people who could not handle the freedom and independence that college presents to them. Too many students view college as a place to party without having to come home to their families. It is true that your family will not be waiting at the door for you to come in after a long night of partying, but soon enough your long nights of irresponsibility will catch up to you.

Though many students come into college with good intentions, the media does not help keep the college-aged crowd on the right track. Websites like CollegeHumor.com and CollegeCandy.com promote the reckless lifestyle of the “ideal” college student. Also, movies like the classics Animal House, Van Wilder and Old School portray college as one big ongoing party. The media puts an unrealistic image in our minds as to what we should be doing when we get in college. Though the media stresses the party atmosphere, the reality is late nights in the library and often quiet nights in the dorm. Unfortunately, a movie about a night studying in Guggenheim would not make an interesting film, so Hollywood exaggerates a small aspect of college.

Now do not get me wrong, I believe going out and having a good time is reasonable in college, but it has to be in moderation, like everything else in life. Of course in college it is much easier to throw away our responsibilities, but ultimately this is the time where we learn to be responsible and to survive on our own. Though it is tempting to go out every night and skip classes, the time we spend here at the University should be cherished and we should all take advantage of the programs that do not involve partying that we will never be able to experience the same way again.

Before you go off into the real world, go to Winter Ball at least once while you’re here, watch a Hawks game, go to a Greek event and have a good time.

Don’t live your college career in a haze and do yourself a favor, do not fall into the all too common path that many college kids do. Make sure you get what you need to get done here, but do not forget to have fun. Keep a healthy balance and enjoy what are arguably the best years of your life.