Does Colby really need fun to have alcohol?

Parents weekend/homecoming/alumni weekend (whatever you want to call it) is packed with sports games, eating, and bragging about how clean your room is (for the 48 hours that your parents are there). Somehow, I found time to check my Yik Yak during all of these exciting events. I came across some hilarious Yaks from alumni, hip parents who are part of the Yak family, and classic Colby posts that made me el-oh-el. I was about to press the home button on my phone, put it in my coat pocket, and re-focus my attention on Colby killing Hamilton in the football game when my eyes caught a Yak. It said, “You don’t need fun to have alcohol.” At first, I just chuckled at the hilarity of the play on words that this clever Yakker used, but I continued to think about it until I sat down and started writing this piece.

“You don’t need fun to have alcohol.” Hmmm. Okay, so there’s a drinking culture at Colby. I think we can all agree on this fact, yes? Yes. Colby, in my opinion (hence why I’m writing this for this particular section) is the definition of work hard/play hard. We live in the library on the weekdays, fighting the night and attempting to get all of our work done (or in some cases, just the bare minimum so that we can survive in class the next day).

Then, Friday night rolls around and there’s a palpable shift on campus. The books go away, the laptops close, and the fridges open and alcohol comes out. We pregame, postgame, and everything in between. We do this in order to have the best weekend possible before Sunday comes and we have to go back to Miller in sunglasses, sweats, and a coffee IV stuck in our arm.

So that’s the weekend. Pretty classic NESCAC/college/university, if you ask me. But what about the nights that aren’t Friday and Saturday? And no, I’m not talking about bar night or pub night, where it’s socially acceptable to drink because it’s an event where a lot of other people are drinking. What about the nights when you’re sitting in your room literally holding your eyes open so that you can get through the most boring reading you think you’ve ever read, and your eyes drift over to your fridge? You know that you have beer leftover from the weekend. You know that it’s just sitting in the fridge, all alone, crying out to be consumed. But it’s a Tuesday, and you’re doing your reading, and you’re alone in your room, and no one else is drinking. What happens then?

When writing this piece, I got really curious about this drinking-on-the-weekends-no-drinking-on-the-weeknights conundrum (you might as well call me Curious George at this point—who wants to be my man in the yellow hat for Halloweekend?). I asked around, and most of the responses I got were somewhere along the lines of “Yeah, I’ll have a work-beer every now and then.” A few people (and when I say a few, I mean maybe two or three out of fifteen or twenty) responded more along the lines of, “Nah, I save drinking for the weekend.” So what is it about the drinking culture at Colby that makes some people completely sober during the week and some more lenient when it comes to alcohol consumption during school nights (oof, I sound like a middle schooler when I say that)?

I think what it comes down to is that we’ve created such a “play hard” culture on the weekends that we almost feel as if we shouldn’t drink at all during the week because it would make us seem as if we have “alcoholic tendencies.” Now, alcoholism is nothing to joke about, so please do not take what I am about to say offensively. But, I think that we’ve created such a disparity between the weekends and the weekdays that we feel as if alcohol is only reserved for the weekends. It can only be used for something special or fun.

Here’s what I’m going to say: what’s wrong with sipping on a hard cider while you’re doing some reading? I’m not saying get trashed by yourself on a Tuesday night, but if you’re feeling as if you like the taste and could use a nice cold one, why not? It might lessen “binge drinking” culture that we college kids hear so much about from parents, faculty, and other adults. Drinking one beer or hard cider or glass of wine isn’t going to kill you or make you an alcoholic necessarily—I wouldn’t suggest doing it every night, but once in a while is okay. So, Yakker, I’m with you: you don’t need fun to have alcohol. I think I’ve probably interpreted and analyzed your Yak in a more serious way than you meant for it to be seen, but it got me thinking, so thanks, pal. You’re getting the Colby community to reconsider its drinking habits.

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