On a Secular Campus

Even if we did get a little bit too drunk
Time isn’t wasted when you’re getting wasted

These are some lyrics from the song, “I Love College”, a somewhat popular song by Asher Roth.

A friend of mine was playing the song the other day, and while I generally don’t pay much attention to the songs he chooses to listen to, these words stuck out to me for some reason. It depresses me that a good number of people actually believe these words to be true.

The other evening I was in my dorm room just hanging out my roommate, when one of our friends came over. He had his guitar with him and told us that he needed our help. He wanted to know if we knew a certain girl who lived on our floor, and if we could figure out if she were home or not. He wanted to ask her to the formal that was this weekend. He had planned on serenading her outside her window. We told him that that was cute, but pretty ridiculous, seeing as it was snowing outside. We soon found out that the girl wasn’t even home, so we advised him to call her and ask her to the dance over the phone instead. He was pretty nervous about doing that, so he wanted to have a beer before he called her. My roommate and I told him not to do that because it would not go well. At least, not any better. He didn’t. But, eventually she turned him down, and the guy was really upset. He planed on going to the dance anyway, even though he was without a date. Our friends advised him not to show up drunk and forever ruin his chances with this girl. He didn’t listen. He hung out at one of the frat houses and ‘pre-gamed’ with some of his frat brothers. He came to the dance pretty drunk and ended up really annoying a lot of people, embarrassing the fraternity he’s trying to join, and accidentally punching my boyfriend in the face.

So, what did I learn from this experience? Well, for one thing, when I’m in an emotionally vulnerable position I’m not going to turn to alcohol to “feel better”. I’m putting that in quotes, because the calming effects of alcohol are temporary and do nothing to actually help you. I’ve also learned that to be a true friend to someone, you need to able to tell them “no”. To quote one Professor Albus Dumbledore, “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.” This is absolutely true. It’s one thing to stick to your own principles, but when you see your friends doing the wrong thing and then suffering because of it (especially when they don’t see the correlation between the two) sometimes you need to step in. Even though I did tell my friend not to get drunk, I still feel like I could have taken care of him more, and been a better friend.

One other thing about my friend… This girl that he wanted to go the the dance with, he didn’t really know her at all. He liked her because he thought she was pretty. I immediately called him out on that. He’s liked this girl from afar for a long while now, but only because she looks nice. I really don’t see how this could ever turn into a real relationship. I hope one day my friend will figure this out.

I recently developed a habit of putting my Bible on my bed every morning, so that I have to move it before I go to sleep, and therefore always remember to read it. A verse I came across last week seems somewhat fitting.

“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

Contributed by H.A.