Work Hard, Play Hard(er)?
Published: Sunday, September 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 15, 2013 21:09
I read somewhere that the average college student’s stress level is comparable to that of a mental patient in the 1800s. And as Georgetown students, we probably exceed standard amounts of such stress and anxiety tenfold. Our school is in the heart of the nation. Students aspire to become CEOs, politicians, doctors you name it. To make that a reality, as type-A personalities we often balance heavy course loads, part-time jobs, and internships.
Add two or three taxing extra-curricular ranging from Hilltop Consultants to Rangila to The Corp, and you have scaled back “me time” to approximately negative 12 hours. But a conversation about overactivity is for another day. The real question is: Is this a sustainable lifestyle? Does it make sense to memorize scores of facts for ‘Map of the Modern World’ in the morning, go out all night until we forget what we’ve learned?
Back in the dreary days of my LXR ground floor residency, I remember hearing kids drunkenly stumbling and yelling across Prospect on their way or back from Rhino, off-campus houses or wherever their usual place of consumption was located. This would occur anytime between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., any given day of the week. This, my friends, is no stretch of the imagination. You may say, “But Claire, who goes out on a Monday? Tuesday? You must be exaggerating.” I promise you, if kids were out, they were on Prospect, and they were there, outside my room, every night. The reality is that our fellow Georgetown students are partying often, whether they’re drinking or not, and they going pretty hard — as I would categorize a Monday night ending at 2 a.m.
I tell you all this with the intention of addressing the long-term repercussions of such vigorous fun-seeking alongside intense studying, working and interning. I’ve met with Georgetown alumni, and on more than a couple occasions I’ve been asked about my social life at Georgetown. Most seem to inquire for the purposes of living vicariously, or having a point of reference to fondly recall their own shenanigans. They’ll ask about certain bars and whether they are still in commission or still “the place to be.” I’ll be told of an alcohol-induced junior year escapade that almost always involves defacing property or repurposing campus buildings.
Whatever it may be, I always am tickled by their implied fun-loving demeanor, because it reassures me that the brain cells I’m losing on weekend nights seem to be not missed by my predecessors, who went the same route and still became successful. Maybe we’re doing it right with the “work hard, play hard” ethic that seems to be emblazoned in invisible ink on our crest. Our school consistently ranks among the highest in nightlife and partying, in addition to boasting one of the best college bars around — two impressive feats, particularly considering the absence of recognized Greek life. We were also recently ranked one of the top 20 national universities, our business school ranks in the top 10 for undergraduate studies and the School of Foreign Service is unparalleled. These are just a few points in which both our fun and work sides can take pride, which further demands that we ask ourselves, have we figured out the perfect symbiosis?