I can recall very few moments in my life up to this point in which I have been at a loss for words, that is, to write or type up at least. As far as basic oratory skills are concerned, I consider myself positioned one notch above painfully awkward. Writing is something I’ve never had much trouble with, aside from the occasional bout of writer’s block or distraction when typing an article or essay on my computer. As I sit here in my new dorm room on the sixth floor of Tyson Hall on a bleak and dreary Friday afternoon, I can’t help but wonder why the first column is always the hardest to write. Logic tells me that the three-month long summer vacation in which I wrote maybe once or twice a week is the main culprit. And as of now, I will gladly take logic’s side on this one.
Or then again, perhaps it’s just the excitement of a new school year that has rendered me journalistically incompetent, temporarily, of course. Coming back to WCU brings back a slew of memories from my first year of college, like the chaotic adrenaline rush known as move-in day and the oh-so-sweet reunion with friends and classmates. It’s a new year with new surroundings, different classes, and plenty of opportunities to pick up on events and occurrences around campus to base my columns on.
Something that I have taken a keen notice of in the past week or so is the behavior of the new freshman class here at West Chester. There’s no doubt that I was made aware of many of the first-years because as my friends and I were breaking our backs with moving our stuff into our respective rooms, all of the freshmen were comfortably situated in and soaking up the “college atmosphere.” The opinion I have gathered from idle bathroom and hallway chatter thus far is this: quite a few freshmen (on my floor at least) are jumping into the party scene too hard and too fast.
Every trip to the bathroom I find myself encountering (or perhaps interrupting) a conversation between a few of the freshmen girls that is centered around what party they went to the previous night or which sports house is throwing a “kegger” later on. The day of the week is irrelevant to my fellow party-going hall mates; any night is an opportune night to let loose and drink away the day’s worries. I find it all slightly alarming and worrisome that the incoming students seem to be more engrossed with going out than with schooling, which should be everyone’s main priority. So it goes.
I did some research on the topic of freshman drinking and found some interesting information. According to an article published on CBS Baltimore’s website back in October of last year, “There’s a spike in alcohol usage for first-semester freshmen that generally tapers off throughout the rest of the student’s college career.” This statement offers some inkling of hope that most freshmen learn from the drinking-related mistakes made during their first year of school.
The alarm that I have been experiencing from my hall mates’ partying antics is no doubt amplified because of my overall dorm experience from last year. I was lucky in the fact that my freshman year wing was surprisingly low-key and quiet during the week. Not many of my neighbors went out partying on the weekends, let alone on weeknights when school the next morning was imminent.
I understand that every student is free to do whatever it is that he or she wants to do here at college. But after a week of observing the incoming class’s behavior, I do think many of them may be taking on more than they can handle, socially speaking. College is a great opportunity to experiment and have fun, but we can’t all lose sight of what we’re here to do, learn. Til’ next time, stay smart, Dub C.
Rachel Alfiero is a staff writer entering her sophomore year, and majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu.