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Preparing For St. Patrick’s Day

Amongst Canadian post-secondary institutions, there are a few holidays that garner mass celebrations around campus. It comes as no surprise that Queen’s students truly live by the mantra, “Work hard, play hard.” That being said, one of the most anticipated events of the year for Kingston students is the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. A glorious invasion of various shades of green, the holiday is recognized as a day to let loose and to spend time with friends, after the stress of midterms and before the crushing weight of exams.

But how does one truly prepare for the festivity of St. Patty’s Day? If you don’t have time to chase that pot of gold, here are some vital tips to ensure that you enjoy March 17th at Queen’s University.

Go Green

Decking oneself  in colour isn’t a practice unknown to spirited university students (cough cough, Homecoming), but it is an essential part of showing your pride for the holiday. One of the awesome things about this day is that there is no limit to how committed you can be to wearing the colour green! For the more decoratively crazy ones like myself, you may prefer to coat yourselves head to toe in every shade of green under the sun. But for the more reserved, it is perfectly fine to opt for a touch of green here and there.

“But what if I don’t have any green items?” you may ask. Well first off, green is a fantastic colour to have in your wardrobe, and you should definitely have some. Secondly, many of the clubs and institutions at Queen’s have sales prior to St. Patrick’s Day where they showcase various clover-themed items, from sweaters to socks, for an affordable price. If buying merchandise is out of your monthly budget, you don’t need to fret. Even a little face paint can do the job to show everyone your holiday spirit!

Be Safe

One interesting part of major parties like the St. Patrick’s Day celebration is the concerning number of people who forget basic precautions. Maybe it’s the excitement of a full day of partying compared to only a few hours on a normal weekend, or the mob mentality; either way, ignoring safety is a big no-no, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Follow this list to have a fun party without landing in the hospital:

          1. Make Sure to Eat

There are too many people who go through the day without consuming anything to soak up the alcohol that they’ve consumed. It’s not a smart or healthy choice, and chances are that you’ll be more susceptible to alcohol poisoning.

           2. Party in a Group Setting

I get it, there are a billion people crowded together on Aberdeen Street and you lose your friends in the crowd.  It’s not always easy sticking with your friends, but make the attempt to. With a higher likeliness of partaking in drinking copious amounts of liquor, drinking alone is never a smart option. At least when you’re with your friends, they personally know you and can help you if need be.

           3. Don’t Be Dumb

There isn’t any way to sugar coat it. People allow alcohol to dictate their actions, but if you completely give in, you could potentially put your safety in jeopardy. Make an attempt to make sensible choices while you party. Can’t think coherently? Maybe skip the next drink and sip some water instead. How about not jumping off some random stranger’s roof to the pavement? Don’t slap a horse. Things that make sense when you’re sober. After all, it only takes a few inebriated minutes to make a decision that you might end up regretting for a much longer amount of time.

Know That You Don’t Have to Drink

I’ve known way too many people who were pressured into the school drinking culture and completely regretted it afterwards. While drinking is great and some enjoy it, this is not the case for everyone. You should not have to feel forced to do something you do not want to. You are no lesser of a person if you choose to spend the day without the influence of alcohol. True friends will understand this and not chastise non-drinkers for “being a buzzkill.” Keep that in mind for this St. Patrick’s Day.

At the end of the day, this is merely a celebration where people can let off a little steam and have a fun time with each other. St. Patrick’s Day is meant to be a time that people can look forward to. Let’s remember not to let a little alcohol and partying get to our heads. This is an event that should be enjoyable for everyone, whether you drink, choose not to, or just can’t yet. There are plenty of ways that students can have a good time without worrying about what might happen, so make sure to keep it smart and safe, and to have lots of fun.

A second year Arts and Science student at Queen's University, I love putting my energy into volunteering, spending time with my friends, and working hard for my degree.
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