Opinion: College is about more than partying
Call me nuts, call me naive or lame … but I think getting drunk, as well as doing drugs, is absolutely pointless.
That probably sounds weird coming from a college student, doesn't it? College is the time of your life where you get to figure out who you are and what you want to do in life. It's a time when you get to break free from your parents' grasp and have your first taste of sweet independence.
And then there's that stereotype about college students going off to a university simply for the sake of partying.
Just from seeing the posts on the various UCF Facebook groups and those of some of my friends, and just from seeing the crowds at Knights Library at any given time on the weekend, I know this stereotype is not all that inaccurate. In fact, it's probably a more credible stereotype than others.
Don't get me wrong, though. I don't see anything wrong with having fun, going out and socializing with friends. I think everyone needs a night off once in a while, because let's face it — college isn't always easy. Life isn't always easy.
Where I see a problem coming into play is when partying and going out escalates to the point of being unsafe. When you decide to swallow that pill or take one too many swigs of that drink in your hand, you're really risking your life. You're putting your own safety in danger, both physically and emotionally. The temporary high or feeling of weightlessness may feel great, but it's nothing compared to how awful you may end up feeling later, especially if you unconsciously put yourself into a situation you really don't want to be in.
I know this sounds like one of those dumb high-school health class PSAs, but it's a dumb, truthful PSA. It's dumb because this is something everyone should know and take into account when planning a night out — but most people don't seem to care.
Here's another point to consider. Attending college is not free, or even cheap, as we know all too well. You may not even be the one footing your own bill (does the term "parents" ring a bell?)
So why pay thousands of dollars to take a full course load and to live on or near campus if all you're concerned with is partying? I think the college experience is something everyone should have in their lifetime, but contrary to the stereotype, partying is not all there is to the college experience.
You're here and you're paying money to have access to quality education that will help expand your mind and prepare you for your dream career. That should be your first and foremost priority, and it shouldn't be taken for granted, because not everyone gets this opportunity.
Students should absolutely be able to walk away from their books on occasion and take a break from their studies, because it's unhealthy to focus only on work and not allow yourself to rest and socialize. There's nothing wrong with partying in moderation. But that's just it: Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. It's important to find that healthy balance between work and play.
While some people might disagree, there's more to your overall college experience than getting wasted most nights. I don't see the point of going out and spending money, only to wake up with a wicked hangover the next morning, not remembering any of the events of the night before.
The bottom line? Please don't put your safety or your future in jeopardy just because you want to have a crazy night out.