For many freshmen, the transition from high school to college is liberating. No parents, no supervision and few rules means a pretty wild first weekend for some. Unfortunately, this newfound freedom often makes new students overdo it.
The first weekend is a chaotic one. Campus comes alive at night with people running, often intoxicated, all over to the frats and apartments to party. Many of these are freshmen excited to be in the college scene.
As a junior, I’ve already seen it a ton of times. It doesn’t necessarily bother me, but it does worry me. I hear stories about multiple freshmen going to the hospital or even getting
arrested. The first weekend of school seems a little soon to be getting oneself into that much trouble.
The weekend before classes start is a lot of students’ first time getting drunk. Without the pressure of going home afterward, or parents saying no, this is the most ideal opportunity many have ever seen. However, most newcomers don’t understand the effect alcohol can have on their bodies. They don’t know how to handle alcohol because they’ve never dealt with it before.
Freshmen also don’t know their peers well yet. In that environment, you’re pretty much completely on your own. At first, not many are comfortable saying, “Hey, maybe you’ve had too much to drink.”
The first few weeks of college are crucial to internalizing your new routine and lifestyle. Those early days become ingrained into your habits.
According to USA Today, nearly half of college freshmen spend more time during a week drinking than they do studying. Don’t get started off on the wrong foot. If you are going to drink, wait until you are settled in and comfortable with your college surroundings.
The consequences of a crazy Saturday night can be hard to bear. First of all, no one wants a trip to the hospital. It’s expensive, your parents find out and it definitely gets talked about. I was once told that freshmen are most likely to get alcohol poisoning during the first semester of college.
Alcohol impairs functioning, judgment and the ability to say no. The risk of unprotected or
unwanted sex is especially high when you are impressionable, wasted, and eager to impress upperclassmen.
So, please be smart and safe about what you do on the weekends. You’ll have plenty of chances to have fun while you’re here at Linfield. There’s no need to cram it all in to the first night.
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.