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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Partying shouldn’t define college career

It’s your first night in your residence hall as a Northern Michigan University freshman and you finally set up your room just the way you want it.

You have everything ready for tomorrow; you picked up your books at the NMU Bookstore, said goodbye to your folks, set your brand new alarm clock for your very first class tomorrow morning and even put aside a set of clothes just for the occasion.

You are prepared for anything.

Then, at 11 p.m., you are surprised to hear a knock on your door. You are greeted by a group of students who all want to meet the new people now residing in their house. Not only that, but the group seems to be very interested in getting you to go party with them on the last night before classes get into full swing. With their numbers, they are convincing.

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Situations such as the aforementioned hypothetical happen all the time, whether you are a new or a returning student. College is a completely different world compared to most other facilities of education, such as high school. For starters, college offers forth a brand new idea to students that is both entirely simple and very complex: Freedom. For young students, that word is power. For parents, that word is an abomination.

Peter Parker, otherwise known as Spider Man, had an uncle who put it beautifully: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Many students who have made it this far into my column might look at that quote I just typed there and say, “Oh, boy, this has just become too preachy for me.” I’ve been there before.

Freedom is something that will take most new students completely by surprise. For the few who will find a way to balance freedom with their academic responsibilities, college life will become a lot easier. However, those who cannot might find their first year in college to be their last.

Say that you do end up going out with the group of students from the beginning of this page. You are a freshman in college, so you most likely are under the legal drinking age. However, it seems like the primary objective of this group is to get seven kinds of drunk before they become indentured to the very classes that they have come to NMU in order to take. While possibly a tempting argument, there are just way too many bad things that can happen to you for this to be a “good idea.”

Here’s where my advice comes in: don’t risk it. It sounds extremely cliche’, but there are hundreds of other things to do in Marquette that are more entertaining than breaking the law or throwing your body under a metaphorical bus (or a real one, depending on how intoxicated you actually are able to get yourself). There are other things to do besides drinking and partying.

I’m not saying partying is an entirely bad endeavor. By all means, be social. Making new friends and getting to know college life outside of campus is an important aspect to grasp as you march forward into your career at NMU. A party does not have to have booze or drugs to be a party.

When it comes to actually balancing recreation with education, there are tons of variable approaches for students to maintain their studies while having enough fun on the side that they don’t go stir-crazy from all of the book work. On average, new college students are not physically accustomed to reading from textbooks as much as they will be in just their first year of being in a university. You may think you have the whole “studying” thing down from being in high school, but trust me: college is profoundly different.

Therefore, balancing work and fun is essential. Don’t do anything out of your academic routine during the weekdays. You’ll hear some students refer to Thursdays as “Thirsty Thursdays.” Ignore that. Especially during this first year at college, simply avoid doing anything that can be easily labeled as a poor decision. If you go out with friends, make it happen on the weekends when you don’t have anything to study or you don’t have any homework.

When you do go out, find something legal to do. You are in a gemstone of a city in the Upper Peninsula. There is so much to do that is cheap or even free that students can do in Marquette that, if you invest a little bit of time and just try these things out, you will never want to drink a drop of anything to see if it is “fun or not.”

You’ll often hear phrases like “starving college student.” In fact, you’ll probably begin using that phrase to describe yourself after a short while if you are new to the area. College students typically do not have a lot of money and a college town would not aim to destroy the pockets of those students who are supposedly “starving” in the first place. Most places in the city are extremely welcoming waypoints for you, your crew and your wallets.

You have relatively cheap venues all across town to eat or shop at, and just take a look at that lake that we are next to. Lake Superior is incredible recreational boon; you have Black Rocks to experience, if you haven’t jumped off of them yet (as long as you are safe, of course), and general swimming is always something to try if you are new to the area.

So before you agree to go out with a group of people that you don’t know very well yet on the night before your first set of classes, stop yourself and think about the implications first. I, for one, would not want to start my college career with a hangover. I would want to take each day nice and slow with a decent amount of focus so that, after I’ve established my balance on those rocks, I could find adventurous routes to take further down the road.

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