By Margaret Hobbs
Recruitment and Retention Manager
Saint Patrick’s Day is approaching, and students are getting ready for one of KU’s largest social events of the year: Kutzpatty’s Day.
Just like the previous years of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day festivities, this upcoming Kutzpatty’s will involve get-togethers, frat parties, people visiting friends from near and far and of course, drinking all day and all night.
A good thing to keep in mind in preparation for this expected, big day is how to stay away from peer pressure. There’s the obvious “just say no” approach, but that doesn’t always work on a day like this.
Morgan Shoemaker, senior, said, “I always expect things to come up on this particular day that I’m not going to want to do, and although friends and peers will try to pressure me, I make sure to stick with my initial decision and do what’s best for me.”
Shoemaker suggests students take the time before going out and partaking in the all-day event to
“have a set plan and a friend that agrees with it. That way you’ll have someone to back you up on your decisions, even if they’re different from the rest of the crowd’s.”
Having a plan for the day helps with making sure students and residents will be able to do what they want. Natasha King, another senior, said, “Think your decisions through and don’t do something just because others are. It may seem fun, but there are always consequences.”
Remember that it’s okay to be the “odd one out” of the crowd. It’s okay to not want to participate when everyone else is, especially if the situation makes you uncomfortable. You can even be the one who steers the crowd’s decisions and the voice the crowd follows, not the one who misses out. Remind your friends, peers or groups to do the right thing and remember there can be consequences if they’re not careful.
Although making careful decisions within an entire group is always smart, it can sometimes be difficult, especially when almost the entire student population is involved. A helpful idea to keep in mind is that despite any possible backlash from your groups, always get yourself out of situations you are unsure about. In order to stay safe, you have to trust your gut. Alexa Buzby, junior, said, “Give yourself permission to leave people or situations that make you uncomfortable.”
As this event approaches and as you’re getting ready for another expected, eventful day, make sure to do what’s best for you, think through your decisions, don’t do something because others are and know that it’s okay to walk away. Buzby added, “Provide your own positive pressure.”
Being your own influence, creating your own positivity and making and following through with your thought-out plans can help you resist and stay away from any potential peer pressure. Kutzpatty’s Day is supposed to be a fun day. Look forward to it, but remember to be safe, smart and provide your own positive pressure.