Answering the call of the Champaign-Urbana nightlife

By Brian Pierce

Dear incoming class of 2010,

You will hear the call of Kam’s. You will hear the call of Brother’s. You will hear the call of CO’s, and Legends, and Murphy’s, and White Horse. You will hear the call outside your dorm room. The kids you meet on your floor will be talking out in the hallway, and you will hear their call: “We’re going out to the bars tonight,” or “We’re going on an alcohol run and seeing who wants something,” or “Dance party in Justin’s room tonight!” (Justin is so obviously gay and why won’t he just admit it already, who does he think he’s fooling?)

Oh yes, you fearless young thing, you will hear the call. You will hear it so often you will wonder how exactly life held any meaning back in those dreary, dull days before you heard the call. And to you proud, hopeful, born-to-be-free, lustful, invincible wonders, I say this: answer it. Answer the call.

There will be those who tell you to resist. There will be those who say you should just go to Quad Day, and join a nice student group where you can meet students dedicated to changing the world one person at a time: Habitat for Humanity, perhaps, or might student government be interesting?

There will be others who say you should focus on your classes and study diligently and do all your reading and turn in your homework on time. Sure, you got decent grades in high school, but you’re at the grown-ups table now and things aren’t going to be so easy any more.

There is an adjective for these people: square. They are losers and stubbornly refuse to recognize it. I mean, have they ever even been to Kam’s? Do they know what it’s like to walk into a building – no, not a building: a sanctuary, a temple, a majestic cathedral, for crying out loud – and smell the stale beer mixed with vomit and feel the baseline of the music vibrating the rubber soles of your Pumas all the way up to your chest, your heart- – your heart is actually beating in concert with the music, have they never felt this way before?

Answer the call, I beg you. You are young. You are sowing your oats. You are entitled. Entitled to the warm, sickening flow of Skol vodka down your protesting throat; entitled to the apartment parties so crowded that it takes a half hour to walk across the room on a floor that is sticky with jungle juice (you can barely even taste the alcohol in this jungle juice, but you can tell it’s really strong, isn’t it amazing?); entitled to live your life and seize the day and damn the torpedoes.

So go. Answer the call. I beg you. And when you wake up in a bush outside your dorm on a Sunday morning with sun-dried beer stains on your shirt, you will know what it is to be alive and young and free.