KOH | Party’s Over — Instead, Work Hard and Rest Harder

My typical week — similar to many other Cornellians — begins with a drowsy walk to Baker Laboratory for my 9 a.m. class and a daily cup of coffee from Libe Café, and ends in yawn-infested nights at Duffield Hall. At the end of the week, perhaps a night out with friends: pumping music vibrating through throngs of bodies and flashing lights. In this way, Cornell reflects the broader American college experience: a duality of late nights studying and late nights partying — or in other words, the “work hard, play hard” mentality.

Here at Cornell University, this mentality runs deep amongst students. On Wednesdays, groups of students trek the streets of Collegetown as the clock strikes midnight for Level B’s infamous, glowing fishbowls — tanks of mixed drinks accessorized with neon straws. Other days, Hideaway, another local bar, boasts a line of Cornellians waiting to enter the teeming crowd of students just beyond the doors. Fridays and Saturdays are largely reserved for fraternity parties, held at houses at which masses of people crowd the doors. After a stressful week of prelims, caffeine and races against deadlines, what could be a better reward than six shots and blasting music?

While at first glance, this mentality is harmless and even iconic of Cornell and American colleges, it can unveil a toxic culture that is ingrained into students and even normalized — one that pressures people into going out despite the many risks of partying.