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.”
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.
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.