In case you missed the boasting status updates and tweets this week, University of Illinois was named the number one party school with the highest mid-career salaries on the salary website PayScale. Who ever said that having a good time in college would put a damper on that successful career you’ve always dreamed of? Although going out six nights a week might start to affect your schoolwork, you don’t have to completely eliminate nights out. Here’s how to party the smart way.
1. Avoid going out when you have 9 a.m. class. This may seem obvious, but going out for a couple of drinks the night before an early class can have negative effects on your concentration for the entire next day. If you know you have class in the morning, skip the bar scene and do something else instead. If the thought of missing a great night out with your friends haunts you, join them for a night out but don’t drink. Instead, use it as an opportunity to network, which will help you stay connected. If you happen to not have classes until 2 p.m. during the week, go out but save the craziness for the weekend.
2. If you do decide to go out during the week – make sure you have all your work done first. Masha Fridman, a junior majoring in Finance and minoring in Russian Language and Literature, said she numbers her assignments by priority to see what she actually has to get done before going out.
3. Watch out for hangovers. Nothing says skipping class like a throbbing headache and upset stomach. Being hung over won’t exactly make you want to be productive – so plan ahead. First of all, never drink on an empty stomach. Eat before you drink so your stomach has something to absorb the alcohol. Also, make sure to pace yourself and drink water while, and after, you drink. You’re more likely to be hung over if you drink anything bubbly, like champagne or liquor drinks mixed with carbonated beverages – so opt for vodka cranberry or vodka water with lime.
4. Just like your mother always told you – don’t do anything you’re going to regret in the morning. Although our judgment gets further impaired with every drink, try not to make mistakes that will distract you during the day. It may be difficult to concentrate on calculus equations with images of yourself dancing on the bar in your head. And heaven forbid pictures of such events end up on the Internet, damaging your professional career down the road. Make sure your friends are there to help you make decisions if you’ve had a few too many.
5. Practice healthy party habits. The “alcohol kills all germs” philosophy may not be entirely true. Partying can come with unwanted germs, and bugs that you acquire may get in the way of class, work and other extracurriculars. When using the bathroom in the bar, always wash your hands. If the soap dispenser is empty and the faucet happens to be falling off the wall, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your clutch. Also, avoid germ-infested beer pong cups by playing “water pong.” Use a clean cup to drink from while playing rather than the rack that has been used by multiple frat bros.
6. Lastly, shy away from that cigarette between drinks. Although you may only be a “social smoker”, as little as a couple cigarettes over the weekend can have negative health effects. Also, social smoking can still lead to addiction. Smoking is a horrible habit that can greatly affect your job search, as well as your career. Many jobs don’t leave time for daily cigarette breaks. When friends go for a smoke break, chew gum or talk to a cute guy to keep yourself occupied.
It is possible to be successful while still having fun in college. Katie Mijal, senior English major with minors in Secondary Ed and Business, said that the key to managing your social and school life is staying organized with your workload and schedule.
“If you do that,” said Mijal, “there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to party often and enjoy the college lifestyle.”