Thinking ahead

Thinking ahead

When we were little, our parents reminded us time and time again to think about our decisions and how they would shape our futures. In high school, we were advised to think about how our choices would impact us when applying for colleges. Now that we’ve made it to college, we are again reminded that the things we do today can have a negative influence on us tomorrow. Despite concerns about the future, sometimes college kids just don’t care. 

This weekend, the annual Grand Valley State University Presidents’ Ball was held. Thousands of students piled into DeVos Place for a night of dancing, conversing and—for a large majority of students—drinking. While most of the students at Presidents’ Ball handled themselves responsibly, the medics were still busy taking care of students who pushed the limit of safe alcohol consumption. 

We understand that alcohol is, for some, a large part of the college experience. However, there’s a difference between having fun and putting yourself and your friends in a dangerous situation. Getting too drunk is not fun for anyone; it’s not fun for you, it’s not fun for your friends and it puts everyone in an uncomfortable situation. 

Additionally, students should be extra aware when attending university-sponsored events. Not only are you surrounded by peers whom you could find yourself working with in a professional setting, but you are also surrounded by student leaders, university administrators and other community members. People will probably have a hard time taking you seriously after seeing you throw up in the hallway. 

Also, college is where we start to form habits. Some of them (hard work, being on time, meeting deadlines and networking) are good habits we want to take with us once we graduate. Other habits (procrastination, eating ramen three times a day and sleeping through our classes) are things we want to leave behind. For most of us, drinking is a social habit that may follow us throughout the duration of our lives. There is nothing wrong with drinking, but binge drinking is not something that will serve you well in the professional world. We encourage students to start forming positive habits they will be proud to say they learned at GVSU.

Though we want to caution students to take binge drinking seriously, we also want to thank those who assisted incapacitated students at the Presidents’ Ball. It’s always a good sign when we see friends who care about those who have pushed their limits too far. We also want to thank the faculty and staff at Presidents’ Ball who were designated to ensuring student safety. We’ve been having a lot of conversation on campus about what it means to be an active bystander, to take care of people who are not able to take care of themselves and to look out for our fellow Lakers.