Right after university started, I soon came to the realization that a big part of the ‘university experience’ is the ‘getting smashed’ experience. What exactly happens during that experience is something that a lot of people tend to forget the day after. The only thing that often remains in memory is that ‘I had a great time!’ or ‘Man! That was fun’. The drinking and partying subculture at universities is a whole different world. In this post I will discuss the interesting observations that I have made over the past year.  


The partying subculture is defined by young adults drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, participating in a multitude of drinking games and indulging in debaucherous activities all night long. Parties are often characterized by intensive drama that takes place over the course of the night. The drama is bound to happen when you have a group of young intoxicated individuals having fun, with no supervision. The other interesting phenomenon that I came across was what I like to call ‘drinking pride’. People tend to take pride in how much they can drink and boast about all the stupid things they do when they are drunk. The more excessively one drinks and the more stuporous one acts, the more popular one gets and is able to grab more attention and recognition. This phenomenon works both ways. If one is sane enough to avoid all this, then their popularity and ‘coolness’ seems to decrease amongst the masses.


I was curious as to how people in our ‘rationale driven’, ‘progressive’ and ‘health conscious’ society justify being a part of this culture. After all it doesn’t make much logical sense to consume a poison, regardless of the pleasure you derive from it. I decided to go around asking my friends as to how they justify partying and getting drunk. I got answers that I expected. The two most common reasons I got were a) I enjoy doing it b) it helps me socialize. Some people I talked with were in denial and said that people just use drinking as an excuse to justify silly things they end up doing at parties; when really you do have control over yourself when you’re intoxicated. That might be true in some cases, but I don’t think it applies to most situations. No doubt partying is fun, how can it not be. What can possibly be more amusing than an activity which relieves you of your worries, takes you away from reality, breaks down your inhibitions so you can do whatever you want and even allows you to satisfy your sexual needs. It’s a euphoric experience that satisfies all the desires young people have; but is it okay to do it?   


I don’t think the answers that I got from people are the real reasons as to why people get drunk. The real reason is because everyone around you is getting drunk and because you are expected to do it. When an activity is performed by a large number of individuals, it becomes okay to take part in that activity; its human nature. Rights and wrongs are usually based on what the masses do. If everyone around you is getting drunk, then you are almost obligated to take part in it as well. If you choose not to, then you are considered an outcaste. If society defines fun as ‘sleeping around with random people’ and you choose not to do so, then you are going to feel like you are missing out on the fun. You will feel insecure and you will feel like you are not enjoying life to its fullest. Even if an individual has some thing against a one night stand, he/she will eventually take part in it just so that they can fit into society and so that they can enjoy life they way everyone else wants them to. Most people I talked with were against the idea of sleeping with random people, but that is an activity which is a lot of fun and helps you socialize in a certain way too; why not start doing that then? People might justify things to themselves by saying that they do it because its fun; but what most people don’t realize is they are just victims of indirect peer pressure and really they are just trying to live up to the expectations of society.