Study or Party?

John Oberlin

Finding the right balance pays off

An old man once explained how he studied in college: He and his friend sat their textbooks down at the local bar, toasted to their final exam and, as he said, absorbed knowledge through osmosis.

He aced his final.

Studying methods such as this may be more fun than cracking a book, but college is not all about having fun.

“You have to socialize, but in the end you have to look at the bills,” said Angie Miller, a senior interpersonal communication major. “When you’re paying for school, it puts it all in perspective. You don’t want to pay for an F.”

College, for some, is about becoming a learned and competent world citizen. For others, it’s also about finding and training for a job. And for the misguided, it’s just one big party.

Whatever reason you are here, and you need to find the proper balance in college life.

Miranda Weimer, a student in the Masters of Arts in Teaching program, said, “If you don’t balance work and fun, you will go crazy.”

On one hand, college is about having fun and being sociable, and with that comes the allure of parties.

Student Health Promotion Coordinator Scott Dotterer said people have misconceptions about partying and college. The general notion is that everyone at college drinks, encouraging students in that behavior.

On the other hand, college is also about becoming a self-discerning adult and making the right decisions for your future.

Dotterer said his main concern about partying is alcohol poisoning.

“Some people may be very cavalier about it and say they will sleep it off, but it could be alcohol poisoning,” Dotterer said. “If there’s a suspicion of alcohol poisoning, it’s a medical emergency.”

Some people — especially if they are under the legal drinking age — might be hesitant to get help, fearing being arrested. Dotterer said these people are taking a big health risk.

There are alternatives to partying if students want to meet people and need a break from studying.

Michael Lillie, assistant director of Campus Life, said his department provides constructive programming and “encourages students to do things that will benefit them in the long run.”

Lillie said students must remember what they are at college for: academics and involvement in student organizations.

But not all students heed the advice of Dotterer and Lillie. Sometimes it takes making mistakes to get on the right path.

“I’m still a freshman because of too much partying my first semester,” said Jason O’Bannon, a freshman exercise science major. “There’s always going to be parties. You got to do your homework first — I learned that the hard way.”

Contact fine and professional arts and College of Communication and Information reporter John Oberlin at [email protected].