More to college than kegs

They say turning 21 is a big deal, a huge milestone in your life, but is that really true?

This past Friday I turned 21 and ventured out into the world of “official” college life.

I guess I had high expectations, because when I arrived at my destination I was somewhat disappointed. Loud music and people bumping into me – if I’d wanted that I could have just stayed in the dorms where I can have any of those things on a regular basis.

While “the craze” was fun for a while, everything just became sort of annoying. There is only so much one can handle while at any sort of party and I am just not the type of person to have things spilled on me and people running into me as hard as they can.

So after my becoming an adult initiation, by trying one of everything, I decided that this is not the lifestyle for me. At least now I can say I tried it and I can finally judge the bar experience since I have actually been there.

I would go back anytime, but I won’t be one of those people who talk about going out every night of the week.

While drinking is part of college life, and growing up for that matter, I can assure you not everyone does it. I was that girl who never drank and never went to parties. I was made fun of by so many people that I felt like I had to go to at least one party so that people would leave me alone.

In the end I did it for myself and not those other people because I wanted to prove that I was right.

I know college is hard and putting peer pressure on top of parental pressure to get good grades, and maybe even a long distance relationship, can make it even harder. I just want everyone to know I’ve been there too and that you shouldn’t feel like you have to do something just because other people say it’s fun. Go find out for yourself what’s fun.

If we listen to other people our whole lives then we haven’t really accomplished anything for ourselves.

I encourage you to get good grades because you want to, not because your parents will stop giving you gas money. Get a part-time job so you can earn your own money and have references for when you apply for your dream career. Once we let go of what holds us back, we can finally be our own person and accomplish so much more.

I feel that college has lost what it is meant to stand for, being a prestigious learning institution, among many students in the past few years. I’m here to try and bring it back.

College is supposed to be fun yes, but we are supposed to learn too. That’s why I am here.

Too many people get judged based on what parties they go to or how many frat guys/sorority girls they have dated. What happened to how many A’s you could get or who got the highest grade on the Spanish test?

I have the most fun when I am in class. It makes me sound like a nerd, but I love learning and I want more people to love it too.

It’s still early enough in the semester where we can all make the choice to study hard and get good grades. I’m not saying we shouldn’t go out and have fun once in a while, but wouldn’t we all like to look back on our experience and think about how well we did rather than how many keg stands we did?

Will holding the record for how many beers you chugged be that shining quality that lands you that job you always wanted?

Or will it be that one time junior year when you chose to study for your chemistry final on Friday night instead of going out?

I’ve learned from personal experience that it’s important to organize your priorities at the beginning of each semester because that way you’ll stay on track rather than trying to figure them out mid-semester.

I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I hate parties or that drinking is wrong. I never said that. I just want you to take a look at what else college has to offer before deciding that there is nothing better to do than sit around every weekend drinking when you could join a club or even get a part-time job.

College life has so much to offer us it’s crazy. There are so many clubs and organizations that I’d be surprised if you don’t find one you like.

I take pride in this school and working for what I feel is the best place I have ever been. It’s my new home where I feel so welcome.

I just want everyone to find something on campus that makes him or her get the same warm and fuzzy feeling I get every time I walk through campus.

Deanne St. John The Daily Vidette Illinois State University U-Wire