By Erin Morris, Contributing Writer
When transitioning into college, many incoming freshmen may not know how to balance the increase in workload from high school with the newfound freedom to do as they please with little to no supervision, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption.
It’s the movie scene we have all watched dozens of times: a group of college students drinking and partying all night, having the time of their lives. It is not surprising, then, that so many incoming students associate fun in college with partying and want to live the experience they’ve seen in the movies.
“Freshmen really need to use a lot of moderation when it comes to drinking, especially since it’s the first time they will be living on their own,” said Peter Doucette, a senior at UMF. “In my experience, it was a lot of freedom right off the bat.”
With no parents, no curfew, no one to answer to at the end of the night; why not go all out? The truth is that academics can often take a back seat once students start incorporating drinking into their weekly activities. “I’ve definitely known some people that have missed morning classes because of drinking the night before,” said Doucette, “and they always regret it.”
On top of missing classes, drinking may lead to even worse academic circumstances. Abigail Madden, a junior at UMF, has seen the repercussions of consuming too much alcohol during the school year. “I had a friend last semester that actually emailed a professor while intoxicated and [the email] made no sense at all,” said Madden. “He was mortified the next day and the teacher was not happy, to say the least.”
What many students also do not often realize, is how one wild night out can affect them in the long run. Also, students can’t forget that underage drinking is a crime and you may face criminal charges if you get caught. “Down the line when they have to apply for a job and it asks whether or not they’ve been convicted or charged with a crime or what have you, they have to admit to that,” says Brock Caton, Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police on campus. “It’s important that they understand the future ramifications of underage drinking because it can hurt them more than they think.”
Luckily for all students at UMF, there isn’t a need for excessive drinking to have a good time on and around campus. “Take advantage of all the other stuff that’s offered: the outdoor activities, Center for Student Involvement has all of the trips they do, concerts….that’s the real college experience,” said Caton. “Don’t ruin your life, you’re here for an education and that’s the most important thing.”