“My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”
That was a quote from the popular 1978 college movie “Animal House.” This movie revolves around the lives of several fraternity boys who think much more about partying than academics, considering most of them don’t have a grade point average over 2.0.
Many incoming college students expect their experience to be one big party, especially since they are free from their parents and are constantly around friends.
According to USA TODAY, students spend an average of 10.2 hours a week drinking, and about 8.4 hours a week studying.
Also, in a survey from Alcohol101plus.org, an average college freshman will drink more than five drinks a week, and 45 percent binge drink at least once every two weeks.
Drinking daily right from the start of college can affect a student’s study habits tremendously. Many freshmen come in thinking their general education courses are not as important because they are not classes pertaining to their major. But this should not be the case at all. It is still required to pass these courses in order for them to count toward credit hours. Doing poorly in them can significantly affect one’s grade point average, though this may not seem important at the time. GPAs are a much bigger deal than students make them to be.
Having a good GPA helps students get into certain programs, such as the study abroad program. Several schools will not accept a student with a GPA under a 3.0.
Internships and graduate schools also look at GPAs as a main factor in deciding whether or not they will accept the student. It reveals academic success a student achieved while in college.
Most students begin their drinking habits the first week of school, syllabus week, also known as “chillabus week.” Students tend to have it in their heads that this week is not important because they do not think professors will assign them any work. However, this week is just as important as any other considering it is when all the information for the class is handed out. It is also when professors let students know much of what they will need to know for the class. This is helpful in understanding what the course will be like the rest of the semester.
Gaining the full college experience is much more about partying and drinking. Many incoming freshmen will join a fraternity or sorority in order to make more friends to go out and party with. But these organizations are beneficial in several regards. Most require students to keep a certain GPA to be able to stay in. There are also study hours where members study together, which can be extremely helpful. For example, if one member is struggling with a class another has taken, these study hours can be a good opportunity for tutoring sessions.
For students who are not interested in joining a fraternity or sorority, there are other ways to make friends and gain college success. ISU has events the first couple weeks of school to help students get more involved around campus. On August 29, Festival ISU will take place on the Quad. This is a great way for students to come out and join any club or organization they might be interested in. This could help students shift their focus from partying to keeping grounded by staying involved and striving for academic success.
Even though college sometimes seems to be what we see in the movies, it is much more than that. College is fun, but it is important to stay focused and remember the real reason we are all here.