Parties and socializing is a huge part of college
life. You should never deny yourself the right to enjoy the non-academic side of the university. You need to keep
in mind, however, that partying is only a small part of the college experience. It has its pitfalls, and you need
to be careful that you don’t overdo it so that it becomes the MOST important part.
When you have an early class, avoid the bars the night before. You’re just
setting yourself up for trouble. Even if you do get up the next morning after a late night out, you won’t be
completely focused on the class. This will lead to you missing important information that you might need later on.
You won’t be performing to your full potential if you’re tired or hung over.
Be mindful of the downfalls of excessive alcohol use. We’re not saying you
have to completely avoid alcohol. If you’re of legal age and you want to enjoy a drink or two, by all means, go
ahead. But, it’s easy for a few drinks to turn into more and before you know it, you’ve developed a problem.
Warning signs that alcohol may be a problem include:
• Missing classes or appointments
• Dropping grades
• Aggressive behavior while drunk
• Erratic behavior while drinking
• Blacking out or poor recollection of events
• Drinking when under stress
If you think you might have a problem, don’t hesitate to seek help. Most college
campuses have counselors on staff to help with problems affecting college students. Talk to your family doctor or
call a help line such as those offered by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Never, ever, drink and drive. Take a cab, take turns with your friends being
designated driver, or walk (but be careful – you CAN get a ticket for public intoxication if you’re too smashed!)
Safety should be first and foremost in your mind – at all costs!
There’s much more to college life than partying, though. Enjoy the other aspects of
the university. Join an organization you’re passionate about. Were you student body president in high school? Look
into student council or Young Republicans. If you’re interested in acting, consider student theater
Sororities and fraternities are present on most four-year campuses. These are great
places to activate new friendships that can last for a lifetime. There’s often a “rush” week during which time you
can visit the houses and learn more about which groups you might want to be part of.
Often, there is a voting process during which you are accepted or rejected. Don’t
be discouraged if you aren’t accepted into your first choice. They might just think you’re not a good fit with
their personalities and/or lifestyle. Just don’t give up. Being part of a fraternity or sorority can be great fun
and a huge learning experience.
Don’t discount calm, laid-back activities as well. Simply watching a movie or
playing cards with your dorm-mates can be great relaxation and just as fun as going to a bar – but without the
Having fun is a big part of college life. You deserve to enjoy the whole
experience, so be sure and make time for yourself and cultivating friendships and interests.
So what if you’re a non-traditional student? Think this advice doesn’t apply to
you? Let’s address that in our next section.
Next Chapter>>Non-Traditional Students