Party culture is bad for the college experience

Party culture is bad for the college experience

Brett Hodges, Staff Columnist

It’s 11:00 p.m. on a Tuesday. You have a paper due in an hour, and your biology final is tomorrow. You should be studying, but instead you’ve decided to test just how much punishment your liver can take at one of the many bars populating the Tuscaloosa area. For what reason though? Most people would simply say partying is what everybody does. You would probably even find some students who would call this sort of lifestyle the “college experience.” However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

On campus, party culture, or the idea that one should often be going out, drinking, socializing and paying that ridiculously high cover fee at Rounders, is more than accepted. It is encouraged, and those who don’t participate are demeaned. Simply because something is culturally or socially acceptable does not mean that it is not a distraction at best or harmful at worst. Sure, going out from time to time is great, but the idea that someone is lame because they aren’t bombarding you with their drunk Snapchats at 3 a.m. every night is moronic.

Yes, social functions do serve an integral role in forming those lifelong connections that outlast our years here at The University of Alabama, but the education and expanded viewpoints found on campus will have a much more lasting impact than Tiffany, the girl whose number you totally got at the bar last night.

With the prevalence of Greek life on campus, it’s easy to see why party culture has become the monster it has. As a fraternity brother or sorority sister, the social pressure to conform to this standard is comparable to a cult, with partying being the religion and intoxication the deity. This isn’t to say that we should all strive to be reclusive hermits, never talking to anybody but our professors, but each and every one of us should make a conscious effort to make better decisions – decisions based upon what we truly want, not what our fraternity, friend group or society wants us to do.

If you truly want to party every single night, miss class every day and generally not look more than three hours into the future because you think that is what is cool and you truly enjoy it, then you should do that. Under no circumstances, however, should you try to force your lifestyle onto others. Many people can’t live up to the party culture lifestyle and still maintain a quality academic performance. These people shouldn’t be forced to live a lifestyle they don’t agree with, but time and time again social pressures cause us to compromise our own core values, beliefs and practices all in a vain attempt to conform to the status quo. So next time you get a call about $5 pitchers on a Wednesday night before your early morning Thursday class, stop and think for a moment. Do you really want to party, or are you just afraid of not fitting in?