21st birthday in Africa!

Most people eagerly await the day when the clock strikes 12 a.m., and they turn 21. Then a night full of drinking, dancing on bars, getting tanked, passing out, and being dragged home by friends. All because you can legally drink.

My 21st birthday is going to be a little different. Although the thought of passing out in a bar is enticing, I think I’m going to enjoy my birthday a little more conservatively. I’m going to get tanked in Africa!~ Just kidding. I am going to be in Ghana for my birthday volunteering in an orphanage I think, so I don’t think I’ll be able to get drunk just then. I’m definitely going to hit up a bar after work to participate in the American rite of passage. I’m past the idea that drinking is cool and fun. I’m way to busy for that. Freshmen year and sophomore year are more the time for partying and then the work doubles junior/senior year, so even though you’re of age, you really don’t have time to give up to drinking.

Living in Funnelle I see tons of freshmen going out a couple of times a week, coming back at like 2 a.m., trashed, and loud as anything. That’s just annoying. When I have to get up at 6:30/7 every morning, I hate being awoken by drunk guys yelling outside or drunken girls being taken out of the building on stretchers. How dumb can you be? Honestly, though, what is so enticing of getting alcohol poisoning and missing your classes and getting a bad reputation as that drunk girl who threw up last weekend.

If you’re going to drink (which the general majority is doing anyway), do it moderately. Get drunk, but don’t get trashed. I personally get annoyed at the frats and sororities that emphasize partying, and I think they’re breeding grounds for alcohol poisoning and passed out girls. That’s why Oswego gets a bad reputation about being a party school because you have drunk people roaming the streets continuously. The residents only ever see Oswego students as being rowdy and drunk. If you’re going to drink, do it in a friend’s room or nearby and just be aware that the rest of the world isn’t revolving around your party life and we don’t really want to hear you throwing up in the hall or screaming outside.

Anyway, stepping down from my soapbox… I’m really excited to be in Ghana. I got an e-mail with a power point on it that showed where I’ll be staying and some of the places nearby which I will be able to explore. When you think of Africa, you don’t really think about electricity or Internet, but they have both in Ghana. They have Internet cafes and long distance phone lines. I think too often Africa is portrayed as a continent full of war, poverty, and rural/agricultural communities, but globalization has reached its arms into the countries of Africa and has created satellite cell phone services, sewage systems, Internet, and electricity. It’s not just a bunch of grass huts, which are still pretty numerous all over the continent, there’s a lot technology making its way into the countries. I’m very excited to be there and to see how a whole other nation exists! A non-Caucasian culture.

Oh ya, and I’m going to be there for Christmas too, which they celebrate! And I can’t wait to make Christmas cards and maybe learn some Ghana Christmas traditions!

Wish me luck, and consume alcohol consciously :)

About the Author

Jr. SUNY Oswego Journalism major Global Studies Minor Environmental activist, cultural advocate, uninhibited dancer, singer, writer, traveler.
Email: kraymond@oswego.edu
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