Whatever shall we do tonight?

This will not be novel information. Every time Friday night rolls around, that rhetorical question, which has lain dormant for the week, reasserts itself with a vengeance and its answer comes back loud, with a force this generation has not otherwise seen.

The play is well-rehearsed, and can be seen by any neutral third-party observer as a touching example of the community that should ideally be built in a college campus. What shall we do tonight? Thus goes Act I. then the second and final act. Up comes the curtain, and down comes the familiar refrain: go out.

Of course that is a gross overgeneralization. Not everyone goes out and to assert that such a scene plays out everywhere on both this campus and most others in the country is a blatant falsehood. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that most students wish to “do something” on those nights when they have time; it is their deep desire, in other words, to relax, to “chill” and – for many – to celebrate.

However, let the particular characteristics of this relaxation not be misunderstood. “Chilling” in this instance must be the end result of a concerted process which in most cases will involve others. Preferably the relaxing will occur with others in an environment where some form of external stimulation can add an extra dimension to the fun. That stimulation need not come in the classic form of a boisterous and cluttered club, however, for activities ranging from watching a movie with friends to playing (drinking or video) games can more than fulfill these requirements. So, one would ask, what exactly is the point here? Should students not be permitted to take a few hours on a couple of nights and let the stress out after a long week?

Well, if one spends all or most of the week thinking about the weekend and if stress is ever generated with regards to the stress-reduction activities, then that could be an indication of a slight problem. If one tends to celebrate simply upon the arrival of another Friday or Saturday, then it could be time to rethink just why the celebration occurs.

Spending purely social time with others is healthy, but when some sort of stimulation must always be present the time allegedly passed in the company of friends is instead nothing more than an excuse to enjoy the company of the music, images, or lights, then that alleged relaxation is worthless. If a break is needed, consider the undeniable fact that sometimes the best time is spent doing. nothing.

Andrew Hamner is a freshman majoring in journalism and political science. He may be contacted at a.hamner@umiami.edu.