When I talk to my friends back home, the conversation often turns to how Cal Poly is a party school. After all, there isn’t anything else to do in San Luis Obispo, right?

This in itself seems strange to me, considering how, when I applied and was accepted, I chose to come here because of its high rankings in academics.

Cal Poly is an extremely well-respected university that should be known more for its academics than its party atmosphere. We are some of the best students in the country, right? So why is it that we can’t come up with anything else to do in our free time than drink?

Our little Central Coast town is filled with things to do that don’t involve alcohol. And with students as smart as we all supposedly are, I don’t think it should be that difficult to find them.

Obviously, the first and most well-known option for this area is the beach. We are fortunate enough to live right along the coast, next to some of the most beautiful beaches in California. Have a barbecue, go surfing, play some volleyball.

How about hanging out at a park? A friend of mine, for her 21st birthday, might I add, had a barbecue at a local park, and we all played football – no alcohol involved.

Then there is the movie option. We have several local theaters to go to in the downtown area. Or, if you’re trying to avoid the downtown scene altogether, why not visit the drive-in? There’s even the option of renting a movie and hanging out at home with friends, which isn’t a bad idea either, especially after a long week.

Try taking a tour of Hearst Castle. There are several tours there to choose from, so you can go back multiple times.

There are even recreational activities on campus. Attend a Cal Poly baseball game or club polo game, or go see the latest play, dance or musical concert. Go for a weekend excursion with Poly Escapes. Each of these options are well-priced, and in comparison to the prices of alcohol, it really is not a bad deal at all.

Maybe you really can’t avoid the party and bar scenes, which is fine. But nobody is forcing you to consume large amounts of alcohol in these places. Go with your friends and enjoy yourself. Play a game of darts or pool with them. It’s amazing to see how talented you appear at these games when you’re sober and those around you aren’t.

Believe me, I’m not saying that the party scene or the bar scene isn’t fun. It just seems to me that we should try to switch things up a bit.

Now maybe these things really wouldn’t be fun for you. Maybe you find it fun to wake up completely hungover with no recollection of where you were the night before and what crazy antics you were a part of. Personally, I don’t understand how this is fun, but maybe I am wrong. I’m not saying that you should never drink by any means. That’s not my point at all. And I’m not trying to judge anyone, so if this is the lifestyle you prefer, then by all means, continue. What I wanted to get across is that there are other things to do during our limited free time, so I am just pointing out some other options you may have overlooked.

I know that we, as Cal Poly students, work incredibly hard with studies and projects. So perhaps the logic behind this is the whole “work hard, play hard” idea. I’ll admit, this makes sense to me. We definitely need to find ways of relaxing after a long week. But I feel as though alcohol does not need to be a part of this equation.

You would think that, with all the intelligent people who are supposedly attending Cal Poly, we could come up with something more original than being drunk.

Kendra Deutsche is a journalism junior and a Mustang Daily reporter.

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