Choose responsible alternatives to partying and drinking

Special to The Star

People envision parties and binge drinking when they think of college, as though these activities are inevitable in the collegiate experience. 

I am here to say that this is not true. Responsible fun is just as enticing. 

College is what you make it, and people can have a wonderful, fulfilling time without going to parties and overindulging in alcohol. It is unfortunate some assume that drinking and partying are an inescapable fact of life for college students.

We picture fraternity parties and binge drinking before football games and studying, as if that is all college is about. Frankly, that insular view of college is an absolute lie for most hardworking college students.

Becoming a fulltime party animal is a bad decision, and students should think about their responsibilities and priorities before deciding how to have fun. I implore those who fall into the “wild partier” category to think about the choices they are making.

Someone—perhaps even you—is paying thousands of dollars a year for you to be here. The purpose of attending a university is to gain the privilege of a higher education and to become a better citizen, not to waste days away drinking and being irresponsible.

Wild fun and partying have a direct, detrimental effect on a student’s studies. A survey found that the amount of time spent partying—specifically, drinking—had a negative correlation with GPA. In other words, the more time spent drunk or partying, the lower the person’s GPA was.

Aside from studies, drinking and partying can even have serious physical effects. Over 1,500 students a year die from accidents resulting from alcohol consumption, with an added 600,000 students seriously injured annually. A few moments of fun is not worth a person’s health or life, which is why choosing a more responsible way to have fun is ideal.

Having fun responsibly means enjoying one’s self safely, without getting drunk or behaving in risky and dangerous ways. Students can have plenty of fun just spending time with friends, or by joining a few clubs or organizations here on campus.

If you decide to spend your time exploring something you are passionate about, there are plenty of clubs and organizations to choose from.

Joining an organization is not only a great way to meet people with shared interests, but it’s also an amazing way to have new experiences and expand your knowledge. The world can always benefit from more well-rounded individuals.

While many students may not be into clubs or organizations, they should not feel left out. There are plenty of other fun options available. Doing something as simple as going out and exploring the shops on the Square with friends is a fantastic alternative to partying.

Even studying can be a fun activity. Forming a study group is a great way to make learning a more enjoyable and effective experience. It is a way to hang out with friends while getting some of the knowledge everyone came to college to receive. Some students may even find themselves looking forward to studying.

Whether it is spending more time studying with friends or joining a few clubs, there are plenty of alternatives to partying for students to engage in. They are not only less risky but also more conducive to healthy habits. So let us do better together by choosing to have fun responsibly. Your liver will thank you.

Follow Allison Chavez on Twitter @AllisonChavez21.