Pop quiz – what is the first thing a freshman thinks of when the
word “college” is brought up? Academics? Residence-hall life? How
about drinking?

Janna Hutz
As they adjust to an environment of hard partying and hard studying, freshmen try to keep a balance between the two, with varying degrees of success. (NICK AZZARO/Daily)

For at least a few incoming freshmen, Michigan’s No. 13 rank in
the Princeton Review’s survey of top party schools has played a
major role in the college decision process. The Chronicle of Higher
Education reported Aug. 29 that, of last year’s incoming U.S.
freshmen class, 28.7 percent chose their colleges based on the
reputation of its “social activities.”

The Chronicle also reported that 46.5 percent had tried beer and
52.5 percent had tried alcohol before coming to college.

However, the Chronicle reported that 60.2 percent of incoming
freshmen in 2002 expected to receive at least a B average. How do
freshmen balance the newfound urge to party and the need to

Roommates Ethan Brown and Brian Les, both LSA freshmen, came to
Michigan for the cross country and track teams. Brown is from
outside of Boston and Les is from Milwaukee. Les and Brown said
they went to parties to meet people and to get the college party
experience. They both said they have not had alcohol at

Brown said he was worried about balancing social activities and
academics. “I was afraid I’d get overloaded with reading,” Brown
said. “I’ve been able to handle everything so far. It’s about
discipline – knowing when to party, when to study.”

Les added that he was planning on partying less once the cross
country season geared up.

According to the University’s 2001 Student Life Survey, 58
percent of incoming students reported drinking before attending the

The same survey reported that 44 percent of first-year students
had engaged in binge drinking within two weeks prior to taking the

The University defines “binge drinking” as five or more drinks
at a single event for a man and four or more drinks at a single
event for a woman.

LSA freshman Tien-Huei Hsu said she was worried about fitting in
but had found a group of friends to hang out with. She said they
had gone to parties mostly to socialize. “It’s better than I
expected,” she said. “Everyone’s friendly. But it’s only been two

Hsu, an international student who grew up in Michigan but lived
most recently in Singapore, said she met her group of friends at
the international student orientation.

Hsu said she was worried about managing studying versus
partying. “Because it’s freshman year, you don’t have that heavy a
workload so you can go out and party,” she added.












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