The time has come. The last weekend of summer is suddenly here. For those returning to Hopkins, you may take this weekend to catch up with old friends back at your favorite stomping grounds. Perhaps you are throwing a party of your own to welcome the start of another year. But this weekend, the upperclassmen are joined by a new class of Hopkins students: the freshmen class. For some this is the first experience with alcohol. Even those that may have drank in high school may have no idea about the access and excess to which they are about to be exposed. This first weekend of college offers great experiences, but also opportunities for danger. Because of this brand new environment and new situations, freshmen are especially vulnerable to the overuse of alcohol. Aside from the obvious puking, injuries, and hangovers in the morning, freshmen women are especially vulnerable to being taken advantage of. In fact, 90% of college rapes involve alcohol use by the victim and/or assailant. While we want you to enjoy your first weekend of the college experience, be sure you enjoy it safely!
Freshmen, if you choose to drink this weekend, think ahead. This is your first chance to make new friends. Do you want your new colleagues to see you as the puking drunkard in a corner of a dirty house basement with a solo cup in your hand? And you definitely don't want to be THAT person that makes a fool of themselves the first weekend- that takes time to live down. Be mindful of your surroundings and others. Watch your drinks and watch out for your new friends. Take this weekend to acclimate yourself to your surroundings. You will have plenty of weekends to explore basements, houses, porches, and various other venues to partake in alcohol use if you choose to drink. Before you walk down Charles Street to head to some party that a hallmate's brother's friend's friend is throwing, you may want to wait. There are plenty of sober activities occurring on-campus. Wait a weekend to hear what places are fun and what places are completely sketchy. Wouldn't you rather your first college experience be fun and memorable, instead of hazy, smelly, and kind of creepy? Wait a weekend and your first college party may be a lot more enjoyable.
Upperclassmen, live by the Golden Rule this weekend. Welcome freshmen to the university by helping keep them safe. This is not the time to haze or take advantage of the situation. If you see dangerous scenarios, lend a helping hand and keep the new class out of harm's way. Let them know ways to get home and be willing to cut off someone who's past their point of safe drinking. You've been there before; you can help.
No matter your year at Hopkins, if you do choose to drink this weekend, do so responsibly. You have a whole lot ahead of you and you don't want to ruin it your first weekend! Stay safe and Stop@Buzzed!