Joe Aziz, Contributing Writer
This is a message from your friends at the Office of Student Life. First, we want to welcome students, faculty, staff and administration back to campus, particularly those returning from their adventure in Rome! We hope everyone has had a restful winter break and is ready for an outstanding spring semester.
With Groundhog just around the corner, we want to take a moment to remind students of the risks associated with the consumption of alcohol. We want to emphasize the importance of exercising moderation and self-control in situations involving alcohol. When used responsibly, alcohol can foster an experience of joy, health and well-being; when used immoderately, however, it loses these restorative qualities, so it’s important that we all drink responsibly. If you are over 21 and choose to drink, keep these points in mind:
-One drink per hour is sufficient to elicit the beneficial effects of alcohol.
-Know yourself. Everyone has a different limit — just because others decide to drink more does not necessitate that you do so as well. Decide for yourself what you put into your body.
-Be mindful. Ask yourself whether the choices you make are really what you want and need or if you’re choosing out of habit, pressure or custom. Make choices that are conducive to joy, health and the well-being of yourself and others. Don’t act out of carelessness, boredom, anxiety or pressure. Act positively; look to the future and be free.
-Use a buddy system if you plan on being world-wanderer for a day. It’s more fun to share the adventure with another, anyway! Watch over each other and genuinely consider the welfare of your companion while you journey. Choose a companion who will do the same for you.
-Make a plan before you act. Know what you are trying to achieve, and let your goal shape the course of your decisions and your overall experience. Don’t depart from what you decided at the beginning unless something monumentally significant comes up. Remember, you made those choices for a good reason. Trust yourself. Make the plan with your companions.
-There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back for a moment to get perspective. If things start to get overwhelming, walk away, get your bearings and decide what you need to do. Bring someone with you when stepping away. Lie down in the grass, walk down the street — do whatever you need to do, even if people don’t understand it!
-It is a mark of wisdom to realize when an adventure is over.
-Real friends respect and encourage healthy, independent choices, even when such choices are different from their own. Be a real friend when it comes to drinking, and only let your real friends influence your decisions.
-Since alcohol dehydrates, have some water handy and drink it throughout the night. Make sure to eat some food, too. These things should be part of your initial plan. If necessary, bring a backpack with wholesome provisions.
-Be careful about consuming alcohol and caffeine concurrently. In general, avoid doing it; just pick a side and go with it. Be decisive!
-Part of drinking wholesomely is enjoying the taste. A good drink can be a work of art. If you are finding it hard to appreciate the drink, you should buy something else or not drink at all.
– Don’t accept drinks that haven’t been made under your supervision, and don’t let your drink leave your sight — ever. It’s awkward, but bringing your drink to the bathroom is totally acceptable drinking behavior.
-Did you know that the leading cause of bicycle fatalities is riding while intoxicated? Moral of the story: If it requires more coordination than a karaoke machine or an automated dartboard, don’t operate it. Let someone more capable take the wheel, and enjoy the ride. Arrange for this in your pre-party planning.
-No substance is an end in itself, but a means to experience life more fully. Don’t make the mistake of thinking alcohol can provide something it can’t: It can’t make you stronger or better than you already are. It can’t help you achieve something you couldn’t achieve without it.
That’s it for now. Remember that if you’re under 21, it’s against the law to consume alcohol. Find other ways to have fun; there are many possibilities! Alcohol can be cool, but it’s not cool enough to warrant breaking the law. The laws that support us are far cooler, ultimately, than alcohol. Let your decisions demonstrate that you know and honor that fact.
We wish each of you a wonderful new year, filled with adventure and discovery. Seek novelty, search for the truth, dig deeper — explore what the new year has to offer you, but explore with deliberation and self-control. Be the master of your own space and your own journey. Be reasonable, respectful, cautious, caring and responsible. Act with the good of yourself, your friends and your community in mind. Have a great semester!