Drinking Up Success (Not Captain)
While my friends at other schools stay “turnt,” I stay focused.
By Mattie Winowitch, Waynesburg University
Defining the college experience is easier said than done.
The ideal vision of the college experience usually involves little to no studying and a lot of parties, keg stands and togas. A lot of togas, actually.
The only problem with this type of college experience is that the chances of actually graduating are slim. And when college is as expensive as it is, to not take advantage of learning and working hard for four years would be a waste. And not only a waste of time, but a waste of money. A lot of money. A shit-ton of money. Did I mention college is a lot of money? (We should really be doing something about this.)
When I was in high school, I didn’t really care about anything school-related until the end of my junior year. Why, you may ask? Well, basically I thought I was really cool—emphasis on “thought.” I’ll never understand the logic of a 16-year old. We literally used to compete to see who could get the lower grade on a test. How did I ever think being stupid was cool?
Whatever the reason was, when I was an underclassman in high school, I didn’t think that my grades would matter much for the future. It was only when it was too late that I realized my logic didn’t really make any sense at all, and I had made a huge mistake.
Luckily for me, working really hard in my final two years of high school allowed me to substantially boost my QPA. However, I promised myself when it came to attending college, I would never make the same mistake. Especially because this time, I would actually be paying for it.
Using my newfound knowledge, I knew I had to redefine the college experience when it came to picking out a school. So I went ahead and I chose a dry, Christian university with no Greek life and no off-campus housing. Sounds like prison, right?
I know, I know. I must be crazy for doing this to myself, and you’re probably thinking I really need to take a shot—or five—and let loose for a night. But honestly, I have no complaints, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And just as a disclaimer: I am not a total loser, nor am I a nark or a member of the Nazi party.
The weird thing is that my school is not as restrictive as it seems. By attending a dry college, I have been able to focus on studying, getting involved in resumé-building clubs and making really strong groups of friends—no distractions attached.
While all of these rules make my school seem boring and sad, I couldn’t be more thankful. It’s literally a holding tank for the next four years to help keep my record clean and to help prepare me for a professional setting. I like to think of college as a job. That way, I can keep a positive and savvy mindset that helps me stay super focused and motivated.
As for students who choose the “typical” college experience, I’m not so sure they can say the same.
Usually when I tell people about my school and how it isn’t the usual party school, they sneer at me like I’m some sort of alien. And usually the conversation goes something like the following: “Dude, you’re missing out big time. College is supposed to be the time to find yourself and have fun.”
But the thing is, I’ve already found myself. Although I’m young, I have been through a lot. I have also learned from the experiences of my friends and my parents.
Of course I have some growing up to do, but I really don’t need drugs or alcohol to expedite the process. I have no need to experiment. I have no need to wake up from a night of partying only to have zero recollection of anything that took place. If anything, that sounds scary to me.
A lot of people say they “live for the nights they can’t remember,” blurred by copious amounts of alcohol. But I personally love the sober nights I can actually recall, because that way, I can share my memories and hold them close for years to come.
I’m so sorry if I’m starting to sound like a killjoy, but I promise I actually like having fun. No, I have not consumed a single alcoholic beverage since I’ve been at school—and yes, I am a sophomore—but I am perfectly okay with that.
The sad thing is I shouldn’t have to apologize or feel the obligation to regret my choices. Sure, it might not be what’s cool or what’s popular, but it was what I wanted. Sober-shaming isn’t cool. And yes, I just spent this entire article shaming people who waste hundreds of thousands of dollars to party, but that’s only because rarely is my unpopular opinion shared.
Above all, I think as college students, we should stick to being self-centered. When I say self-centered, I don’t mean you should be a total douche. I just think we should all stay focused on what we want to do. We’re too old for peer pressure.
We’re all adults here. If you want to throw away your entire education on partying every single night, that’s cool. If you want to be a sober know-it-all like me, that’s cool, too. If you’re reading this and the words are swirling together and not making any sense, you should probably lay off a bit on experimenting with LSD.
But if you’re just trying to stay focused on your studies and you know you lack self-control, I would truly recommend a dry campus. That way, when you are 25 and a CEO of your own company, you can afford to stay up all night celebrating your achievements. And to that, I say, “Cheers.”