March 25, 2023

It’s not hard to imagine college life being really busy, with the many parties and events happening 24/7. At least that is what Hollywood wants us to believe.

The truth is that this kind of fun is far from reality.

College can be a time when students can live life like there is no tomorrow, but the reality is that the next day exists and it’s often full of assignments and responsibilities.

“I think school should always be a priority, due to the fact that we pay for it . . . meaning that [if] you’re skipping class you’re just wasting your money,” said Melissa Burks, a first-year journalism student at Conestoga College. “Put school as a priority and fun second.”

“I’ve been trying to prioritize school more this year,” said David Brown, a student in the broadcast radio program.  “I used to party every weekend last year. Now, I can get my projects done sooner than the deadline. I can get projects done the day after it’s handed out instead of the day before it’s due, because now I have more study time.”

While some of the students see school as a top priority, others recognize that partying can affect people’s school life.

Broderick Visser thinks that The Venue can be a problem for the students. Photo by Karina Kajishima, Spoke News

“There have been times when people I know have done harder drugs than marijuana or just drinking alcohol,” said Broderick Visser from the journalism program. “There are some people who don’t really have limits. They haven’t set those boundaries for themselves and I personally have, so I don’t think I would do it. I noticed that some people at school have abused drinking at The Venue and, in my opinion, it’s a problem.”

The Venue is a restaurant and bar located inside Conestoga College, operated by Conestoga Students Inc. Students appear to disagree with each other about its role.

Asked if he thinks that having The Venue at Conestoga College is a bad idea, Patrick Clancy, from the journalism program, said, “I don’t think so, because when you go to a bar [off campus], they’re not as concerned about you. You just order a bunch of shots and get really wasted, whereas, at The Venue, they’re kinda controlled a bit. You are not there drinking to get wasted or anything. It’s almost better to go to The Venue than  go to a bar and go crazy with tequila and then come back to school, so it’s a safe space for drinking.”

Visser seemed to disagree with Clancy.

“I think it just depends on how much they drink,” said Visser. “I don’t feel like they’re watching how much people drink [at The Venue] and aren’t doing as good of a job as they could to regulate that. It’s all by discretion, one of the waiters actually told us once.”

Jake Dodge, a bartender and server at The Venue, says the bar staff are competent when it comes to how they control alcohol consumption.

“We do control. I disagree. That’s from a guy that works here every day. . . We do keep an eye on our guests, it is our job and our jobs are on the line with those kind of things.”

“At least since I’ve been at The Venue, last fall, we have a no-shots policy here. We don’t do doubles either,” stated Dodge. “We can do mixed drinks but we have a pretty strict regimen on how we mix the drinks.”

A bartender and server at The Venue, Jake Dodge, believes that the space is a good spot to meet up, and that it takes good care of its customers. Photo by Karina Kajishima, Spoke News

Dodge also said that having places like The Venue is a nice social lubricant for himself.

“It is nice to meet up with some people you met in class. You just kinda get a drink going and connect over that,” said Dodge. “It’s a nice stress reliever if you got a crappy test, if you’re just having a bad week with exams, or just studying. It’s nice to have a drink and chill out, but then of course you have to worry ’cause you’re at school, so you don’t want people to overdo it.”

The Venue’s patrons have different opinions about school-life balance. Photo by Karina Kajishima, Spoke News

Even though partying and drinking all the time might be tempting, it is unreasonable to give up on the usual main focus: college. For most of the students, it is all about balance. Some even dare to say that living just for school’s work can be bad for students.

“I think everyone has to have a good balance, I think that’s important for college,” said Visser. “I think you should focus on your studies ‘cause that’s very important but you should also have a good time.”

“They should party a bit because it’s nice to meet new people,” suggested Clancy. “If you’re miserable, you’re not gonna do well at school, regardless. You’d just drop out because you’re lonely and sad.”

As for my opinion, everyone in college should be responsible enough to keep their life in good balance. If you got into college, your focus should be studying and graduating, but that doesn’t mean giving up on hanging out with your friends and having fun. As long as you get your work done, there is no obvious reason why you shouldn’t go for drinks and relax at the end of the day. Each part of your life depends on the others — and the harmony between them is the secret for success.

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