Editor’s Note: Peer pressure in post-secondary
I have never been to Phil’s.
Not hating — my brother went there a few times and my father did before him — just stating facts.
It has become apparent that I might historically be the only Editor-in-Chief at this newspaper that never made a point of popping by there at least once.
On that same note, my university experience is said to be pretty incomplete without it, which I think is sad.
Ah. The pressure to consume alcohol. My university experience feels incomplete without that too, which I think is really sad.
As a transplant from the Brantford campus, it does make some sense that I am not super familiar with the local student nightlife.
Brantford does have its own prized local haunts, most of which I can say I attended at least once, but the scene there is simply not as present to say the least. I still can’t tell if that was a blessing or a curse.
As a Golden Hawk living in Waterloo I guess it’s safe to say I have missed out on a valuable part of the experience.
But as someone who was born in Kitchener — someone who has been familiar with this area my entire life — do I actually feel like I am missing out?
Does it bother me that I haven’t been to the establishments some have deemed essential to the student experience? That I can pretty much count on two hands how many times I’ve been intoxicated on campus?
Nah, definitely not. And here’s why.
First — and most importantly — because I have my whole life to drink and make poor decisions. Just because I decided to put some of this stuff off until later does not mean I am missing out. I don’t need confirmation of this, honestly.
Second, although I respect, understand and am capable of identifying the fact that traditions matter to some people, I very strongly believe that your university experience is unique to you. I’m not saying that you should ignore everybody all the time and set up a hermitage in your dorm room. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t let other people decide what is important to your own experience.
If the consumption of alcohol at various local establishments is something you would consider ‘essential’ to the university experience, then all the power to you my friend.
Honestly, many people would consider studying to be an essential aspect of the university experience, yet I’ve never seen anyone prioritize studying over ‘thirsty Thursdays.’
Don’t get me wrong, Phil’s is definitely on my bucket list, Chainsaw makes for some memorable evenings and I do love chilling at Becky’s Apartment.
But if you are going to tell me that my experience at university is incomplete just because I didn’t go out and party enough, I am going to look you in the eye and say that you are wrong.
Maybe that was an essential part to your personal experience — which I totally respect and don’t mind acknowledging — but I’m tired of pretending that I understand that sort of culture for no reason other than trying to assimilate.
And mark my words — I will go to Phil’s, eventually. It will happen.
I’m not going to lie, I feel like I am not fully capable of representing the student body without such a ubiquitous experience.
But — like every other evening I spent in a bar — I will definitely regret it the moment I drop my cover into the hand of the doorman, because that’s just who I am.