You’re Golfing During House Party!?!?


His phone’s ringtone sounded like his alarm as he glanced at his iPhone.  He already knew who was calling.  “Mike, they can’t find out,” he cried.  “This is awful!”  I turned to my friend as he put his SUV in drive, golf clubs rattling in the back as he pulled away from his downtown house filled with college students holding plastic, red Solo cups.  We were on our way to the Bucknell golf course, but my good friend had a couple phone calls to ignore and a lecture on the importance of House Party, first.  “You just don’t understand,” he told me.  “You play basketball…people know that.  It’s not a big deal if you don’t go out during house party.  Me?  I’m in a fraternity.  It’s different.”  I laughed — but his comments made me think.  “Why is it different?” I asked.  “What’s so bad about going golfing today?  We’ve been waiting all winter for a chance, and today is a perfect opportunity.”  He agreed.  “I know, I’ll just hear about this constantly for a week.”

The 10th hole. Usually my tee shot ends up to the left underneath one of those trees 😦

OK, to be fair, my friend mentioned in the paragraph above overreacts sometimes, and he knows how funny I find his rants.  He may have been making the situation out to be worse than it actually was, but either way, it sparked an interesting conversation between the two of us.  House Party weekend is fun, in my opinion.  I don’t love it or mark it on my calendar months in advance, nor do I despise it and give the STANK EYE to everyone I see partying.  What I do despise, however, is the thought process that you’re SUPPOSED to drink the entire weekend, because that’s just what people do.  And this thought process isn’t just prevalent during House Party.  It’s year-round, and embedded in too many students’ minds on campus.

Bucknell’s 2011 Campus Climate report gave 7 significant problems.  The first one was “Lack of student intellectual engagement outside the classroom.”  The next three discussed problems with the social scene and alcohol consumption, but I argue that the first problem mentioned is what causes these problems with binge drinking and lack of popular social activities besides registers and downtown parties.  In my opinion, for a lot of students at Bucknell, their experience or expectations of college revolve around three things: athletics and Greek life, going to class, and partying.  Now, I’M GUILTY of this type of thinking.  For me, I sometimes find myself just focusing on basketball, going to class, and the nights when I’m able to go out.  For others, it might be their sorority, class, and partying.  Or lacrosse, class, and partying.  Here’s a quote from the report that echoes my statements:

“What am I supposed to do on the weekends if I don’t want to go to the library and I don’t want to go to a fraternity party?”    

Here’s my advice: Get some hobbies.  Write poetry, make music, play a fun video game, do pottery, watch movies, develop a new smartphone app, lift weights, ride your bicycle, learn to dance, learn to cook, play Pokemon for all I care.  Do something YOU, personally, find joy and comfort in.  Something you’re proud of and something that’s meaningful.  Something that makes the world a better place.  You might ask — “How is playing a video game meaningful?  How does that make the world a better place?”  Well, it’s something someone else created.  Just like a book that someone else wrote.  You can communicate through it and about it with others that find it interesting as well.

Pika Pika Pika!!!

Basically what I’m trying to say is that college shouldn’t just be about what sport you play, what sorority you’re in, going to class, and partying.  I think our generation frowns upon having hobbies and it’s a shame.  I’ve already read from some other posts and in the Campus Climate report the popular “Work hard, play hard” slogan.  Well, that slogan is a great example of what I’ve been trying to explain.  Life isn’t that black and white.  You have a lot more options that work (studying) and play (partying).  Do one of those hobbies I listed above.  And if your fraternity brothers want to give you a hard time for golfing on a Saturday afternoon, they can kick rocks.

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13 thoughts on “You’re Golfing During House Party!?!?

  1. Honestly couldn’t agree more. I hear the argument all the time that being Greek makes you a better businessman because it teaches you how to mingle, drink, and balance work and pleasure; but, just as Hartman added a fourth point to Donaldson, Mike adds a fourth point to aforementioned argument. Does being a Bucknellian allow you to cultivate your love for something other than mingling, drinking, and work? It is astonishing how straight up BORING some of the people here are (not you guys though, y’all are cool 🙂 ). How is one supposed to mingle, drink, work, well with others if they are about as fun to talk to as a brick wall? This goes back to the first point of the climate report that Mike referenced: when Bucknellians are asked about what books/academics/music/films/art/culture, I too often hear an apathetic, “I don’t know?”. The lack of hobbies/interests on Bucknell’s campus is tragic.

    • Good grief. You don’t need a fraternity to learn to drink, mingle, and be sociable “just that way.” It may be helpful for networks and social capital. It may teach you about managing an organization.

  2. I started laughing when I realized who you were talking about. But come on, Mike — “overreacts sometimes” is way too generous. Anyway, you make a lot of good points. Like I mentioned in my post, I have had a really unique experience on campus by spending a year on a sports team, a year as an independent, and then almost 2 years in a fraternity. Seeing people’s perspectives from all angles, I have kind of developed my own way of doing things. I think this is what you’re talking about when you tell people to find hobbies — essentially, don’t worry about what other people expect you to do and develop your own hobbies and interests. In other words, we should be more proud of our individuality. You have a great perspective on this, which is very valuable when you consider things– fraternity peer pressure is one thing, but I am sure you will soon find a lot of different people giving you their opinion in the near future 😉 Keep that good perspective in mind (see it’s already starting). Anyway, great post, Mike. And invite me to that next golf event. I’d love to see Kriftcher go nuts after a missed 3-footer!

    • Haha I figured you would know who I was talking about. We’re golfing before class tomorrow actually, come join! But in all seriousness, yes, I agree that we should be more proud of our individuality. That includes doing our own thing BUT also being respectful of what others do.

  3. I think that the passion for House Party is great…to an extent. I mean are people happy that the school is getting together and representing Bucknell? Or are they happy that they can just drink all day at different places?

  4. This is the first full House Party weekend I was able to attend after having to row that last two years and I was so annoyed by the hype and unnecessary drinking and stupidity of it all that I left campus Friday evening to celebrate my birthday weekend elsewhere. I’m starting to think part of the reason students feel the need to drink so much is that they think it will make them fun because they don’t know how to have fun otherwise….

  5. See if “play hard”= do what you love no matter what others think; be authentic; try new horizons, and sure, what the hell, have a beer sometimes, great. I agree.

    My sense (and tell me if I am wrong) is that play hard is usually meant to be drink to drunkenness.

  6. I’m pretty sure I know who your friend is in this situation and it made that opening paragraph even funnier while I was reading it. House Party isn’t for everyone. It appeals to a wide range of the Bucknell community, but not everyone. If you played golf and had a good time during House Party, by all means then you had a good time at House Party. I have a lot of hobbies that I do in my spare time outside of school and my frat, but I see where you are going with this. A lot of kids become so consumed with their fraternities/sororities and drinking all the time that four years has swept by them and they have no idea what to do next. I can honestly say I did that for about a year until I realized, “Holy shit, where did my sophomore year go?”

  7. I have been lucky enough to attend a few alumni events off of campus in my last four years here. The one thing that I have always found to be common at every one of these events is that no matter where the room full of Bucknellians is, they are always talking. I think that this work hard, play hard environment that has been established here has a lot to do with sculpting the type of people most of us are. However, I think campus culture has taken a shift for the worse as the play hard part of that statement has changed.

    My uncle was a member of the class of ’78 and told me stories where he and his fraternity brothers (along with anyone else that wanted to join) would go skiing, hiking, running, golfing, and so much more with one another because they wanted to let off some steam (of course as night rolled around they would have a few beers and relax). Sadly, when I was speaking with a sophomore in my fraternity earlier this year about fun things that all of the guys could do together, just as my uncle and his friends had, his immediate response was, “would we be able to drink?”. Besides infuriating me, his response left me dumbfounded. I followed up with him saying I am sure we could have a few beers after but that it wouldn’t make sense to drink while paintballing, rafting, etc and that the biggest point is that we would be doing these things together. He looked as dumbfounded as I was and said that he didn’t think anyone would want to spend money on something if there was no drinking involved.

    I am not sure how the culture has changed so much such that people actually think this is okay, but I do not like it. Like you, Mike, I wish that there were other things for people to do and that it was not social suicide or out of the norm to do these kinds of things.

    • I share similar feelings. I get angry when friends don’t want to do something fun or adventurous JUST because alcohol won’t be involved. Like…really? Like you said, if after a full day of snowboarding we decide to relax and talk with a few beers, so be it. But let that situation come about naturally. Don’t make alcohol the DECIDING FACTOR on whether or not you go snowboarding for a weekend.

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