The many faces of campus nightlife

By Declan Harty

Each year, thousands of parents and alumni bombard campus at certain times: Homecoming, Moms Weekend, Dads Weekend, move-in dates, football games, basketball games, the list is nearing a point where keeping track would become futile.

Each time, streets become mobbed with visitors, students procrastinate homework more than they already have and police presence on campus is escalated.But I believe, just as my parents have learned, the key to each and every visit is doing something new or exciting.

Each year, the visits grow to become formalities for many families, but by trying something new with parents, the visits stray away from a burden to a vacation.

There are a few fundamental things in C-U, in my opinion, that each visit from family should consume of: An event of your choosing (there are more than enough) and a great meal.

The events can vary based on families’ preferences. There is always a play to see, there is always a sporting event of some sort, and feel free to reach out beyond the normal football and basketball games, with Illini Pride each sport has a great following.

And then there are the plethora of campus bars where dinner is always a plus and in turn, a night out can ensue. Campus bars stray away from the normal bars of Chicago, what is a haven for day drinking and a great burger, campus bars normally foster a huge portion of traffic on popular weekends.

But just because the lines near the door and cover can near $10 on occasion, don’t fret, if you are looking for a place to camp out for a while with good food and drinks, bars are typically a good place.

There are bars where dancing and drinking are people’s favorites and if that is your scene, head to those places.There’s a lot to each visit and with each day of the weekend, the trip to campus can become more of a vacation.

But campus nightlife does take an interesting turn when parents are gone, but there is no reason to fear for your child, as long as they are safe, have a practical mentality and a good group of friends.

For me, college started at Illinois Wesleyan University for a year, a school of just over 2,100 students. Now I attend a university that is one of the largest in the nation and in turn, the entire campus life has taken a quick turn from what I became accustomed to at IWU.

The change from house parties every few weekends to bars on campus that have a drink special for every different night of the week is fascinating.

The best piece of advice, in my opinion, to tell your students is to travel in packs, but especially with people they trust and ideally, you trust. Going out on campus, especially toward the beginning and ends of each semester, is a huge hobby for most students and the streets are lined with people.

There are a few scenarios where people have been hurt, where people have been robbed and this can be seen through Illini alerts, which is a service provided by the University’s Police department. But as long as your child has a good head on their shoulders, there shouldn’t be much reason to fret.

Declan is a senior in Media

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