The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



What’s the point?

Dee Tian | Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween everyone!

After returning home from a terrible midterms week and a relaxing Fall Break (I’m jealous of all you Vegas vacationers), I was ready to put schoolwork on hold and have a good time.

However, after six straight days of excessive drinking and questionable decisions (why must I eat a hot pocket every night when I come home from the bars?), it’s safe to say that I don’t feel very holy or close to God. Each morning, I pray (as I stand hung over in my shower), “Hi God, You probably didn’t approve of last night … Sorry.” Then 12 hours later, I’m once again taking shots. I’m sure he’s convinced.


This conflicted feeling reminded me of a movie I saw this summer. I led a youth group (my first time ever leading one, thank you to the pastor who volunteered me) on a summer retreat and we watched “To Save a Life.”

Okay, so it was kind of cheesy, a bit unrealistic (they definitely played pong incorrectly), but still pretty good. It centers on a popular high school senior, Jake, whose childhood friend, Roger, kills himself in the middle of a crowded school hallway.

Jake seems to have it all — a cute girlfriend, lots of friends, invites to parties and a scholarship to Louisville to play basketball. However, after Roger’s death, he recalls how Roger saved him from a car accident, sacrificing himself, when they were children.

Jake reflects on how when he became “cool,” he left Roger behind, watched him being picked on and did nothing. One day, Jake meets a youth minister, Chris, who helps him discover his true potential and the greater things in life, including God.

The movie deals with sex, dating, teen suicide, teen pregnancy, partying, peer pressure, cliques, God and religious hypocrites — the usual. What resonated most with me was the question Jake asks Chris after finding out the pastor’s son smokes weed: “Why are there so many fakers?”

I often wonder that myself. I see self-professed Christians, judgmental and self-righteous, turn around and get wasted, have sex with plenty of randoms and say malicious things about others behind their backs. It just doesn’t feel right. Then again, I admit that I’m often one of them. Does being a “party girl” send a positive message to others about Christians?

God is the most important being in my life. I read the Bible every night, pray multiple times each day, go to church every Sunday and won’t change my radio station from KLove (Christian rock) when my friends get in the car. I know, I’m a freak.

Then I look at the flip side: I went to my first party when I was 15 years old, got my first fake ID when I was 18, was voted Life of the Party for my High School Senior Superlatives and day drinking is one of my favorite activities (something about the sun … so rare in South Bend).

Most would say these two lifestyles are dire opposites. Is it possible to be both? I try to be encouraging and kind, but I can be catty and vain like any other college girl. In the movie, Jake gives up his partying ways because “What’s the point if you’re not going to really let it change you?” That really strikes a chord with me. I say, I’m only this way because I’m in college, and everyone is like this in college.

I’ll stop pounding shots when I get a real job and it becomes socially unacceptable. I mean, that’s what everyone else said in my Alcohol Education Class (thanks ResLife).

But is that really morally correct? Can I really keep one foot in each boat? My friends, even the really Christian ones, say it’s okay.

We’re young; we’re supposed to be crazy and wild. But are we being honest with ourselves … or are we just making excuses?

Dee Tian is a senior marketing major with minors in philosophy and anthropology. She can be reached at ytian1@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.