Halfway through a shot of Everclear, I stared into the abyss of a party and watched as a group of stressed, overworked students went balls-to-the-wall for one last Saturday night before bunkering down the next day to study for finals.
It was a curious night. Yes, there were some couples dabbling in the art of rigorous over-the-pants hand jobs on the dance floor. Yes, there was a girl who turned on the stove and went, “Look, I can do it,” as she put her hand on the burner. Yes, there was even a guy who opened a Keystone Light with his teeth and a butter knife so he could eat a beer slushy out of the can. It was a standard night. No deviations from the normal Northwestern party. There was crying, and vomiting, and people who cried so hard they activated their gag reflex and vomited. I was one of the latter.
Recently, I’ve been questioning whether or not we have an alcohol problem. And I’m not talking about the 100-pound-girl-who-didn’t-drink-in-high-school issue that says, “Well, I just can’t hold my liquor, L-O-L. What can I say, I’m a light weight.” I’m a grown ass man. I nicknamed my umbilical cord The Franzia Funnel in the womb.
Rather, I’ve been considering not whether we know how much alcohol we consume, but why we consume alcohol. For five nights in a row this week, I went on a quest to get blackout. It’s not a usual thing, but it’s not the first time I’ve done it to avoid looming issues. I did not want to think about exams, the pile of laundry in my hamper threatening to topple over and end my life, or whether I should pay for a Netflix subscription or deodorant. I just wanted to drink and get drunk. I’ve noticed that most of the people around me—friends, acquaintances, that one girl I say “Haaaaay girl, you look so good” to at a party even though I can’t remember her name for shit—are all looking to forget their problems with a party, a bottle, or some other vice.
It’s become so easy to have a bad day and rely on weekend festivities to soothe our worries. I know I, like others, am guilty of asking for a drink when the academic, social, or love life goes to shit. And there’s nothing wrong with “turning up” or “rocking out with your cock out” or “running train on a keg,” as some of the kids say, after a tough day. It’s good to let loose, drink that purple drank that makes you move slow, and grind on the dance floor like you’re trying to spark a flame with some ass-crotch friction. Drinking at Northwestern, however, has become something to help us ignore, rather than to help us have a good time. A drink will help you forget. A drink won’t get your shit together for a final, buy you Starbucks when you feel like how University Library looks, and pat you on the shoulder to say, “Ay, boo. It’s gonna be alright.”
Finals are going to be hard. They’re here, and they want to drag you around campus by your gonads. But, I think we need to remember something as a community. You are here because you are smart as fuck. You are here because you are talented as fuck. You are here because you swam your little sperm tail up your mama’s fine-ass uterus like you were being chased by the police. You are here because genetics told you that you are the top of the fucking pyramid, and I’m talking a food pyramid, not like an Egyptian one built by oppression. You are here because you shat on standardized tests, extracurriculars, and every other aspect of your life like a pro. Nicki Minaj once said, “I’m a boss ass bitch.” Bye, Nicki Minaj. You, reader, are the real boss ass bitch.
Reading week is over, and finals week is upon us. Northwestern, I ask you, on behalf of every major, from Anthropology to Zoology (which we don’t have, but fuck, can you imagine if we had a zoo) to kick ass on your finals. Remember that no drink, party, or blackout where you wake up covered in skittles with a skirt covering your genitals (true story) is ever worth your safety or talent.
And on that note,