Through rainy and sunny days, we trek to campus for class, for clubs, for jobs. We go to meet our friends for lunch, to laugh with them, to study with them. College may not be easy, but it’s rewarding. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it when we get a day off to let loose and hang out with our friends. Days like homecoming are ideal for creating memories to last us a lifetime.

I don’t want to spend that special day in a drunken haze.


Over the last year, the word “darty” has become popular, a slang term meaning “day party.” Walking or biking through Winona on a sunny day, you can see darties everywhere. College students love to hang out together, and darties seem to be a way to spend time together, enjoy the weather, and drink booze.

Seems fun, right? But the cost is so much more than just the price of alcohol. The cost is in memories.

Every homecoming, a blur of purple and a hangover the next morning. And I ask, is it worth it?

Freshman Year

My freshman year, I remember I was just starting to make my lifelong friends, though I didn’t know it then. UPAC hired a DJ and held a dance the night before homecoming, and we spent the evening laughing and dancing. That night I even met the boy who would become my boyfriend in a couple of years.

The next day we all sat in the sweaty student section at the game. We all wore purple, smeared our faces in glitter, and were completely sober. We went to the game and left at halftime because of the loud, drunk, sweaty people surrounding us. The rest of the day was spent hanging out, getting to know each other, and eventually watching movies. Freshman homecoming is one of my favorite memories.

If I had been drunk, that memory wouldn’t exist.

A Homecoming Worth Remembering

I had to miss homecoming last year, so I’m really looking forward to it this year. I plan on dressing up in as much purple as I can, going to the homecoming parade, and then later to the football game to watch our undefeated (7-0!!!) football team kick Wayne State’s butt. I can’t wait to spend the entire day with my friends, celebrating the university that brought us together. I can’t wait to make more memories.

College is difficult, and we work hard. We deserve a day off from classes, school work, and responsibility. We’ve done our time, we deserve a day of homecoming to celebrate being young and broke and dumb and so very, very alive.

And I think that’s worth remembering.