Senior fifth isn’t worth it

Losing memories of a home football game, or your life, is not worth bragging rights


Courtesy of Wake Forest

Hospitalization and medical treatment numbers have declined as the senior fifth tradition has.

Conor Metzger, Staff Columnist

As we approach our last home game, the talk of senior fifth has become noticeable. Senior fifth is an undertaking during the last home football game that involves consuming an entire fifth of liquor before the end of a single day. It has been around Wake Forest for decades, but its popularity has waned in recent years, according to the Wake Forest Alcohol and Drug Coalition.
Part of the reason for this decline is the administration’s campaigns, which focus on educating the student body about the dangers of consuming large amounts of liquor. Students will recognize a part of this campaign from some of the posters, which include pictures of alcohol with backward sentences and the caption “backwards drinking leads to backwards thinking.”
Another reason for the decline of the senior fifth tradition is that every year more students realize that it is unappealing. It’s your last home football game as an undergraduate student, and you’re going to choose to not remember it and risk a possible trip to the hospital — or possibly death? This is what can happen when you attempt to consume a fifth of alcohol in a single day by yourself.
More students are also recognizing the real lack of “bragging” rights this tradition brings. Senior fifth is not something you are going to be bringing up to your future friends to try and “impress” them. Instead, it will most likely be a night someone will never mention to anyone else, especially if the night ends with a hospital band around their wrist. Students should not risk their life for the sake of a tradition that hardly any alumnus ever speaks of. I mean, do you really think you’re going to be wearing that shirt for years to come?
It can, however, be difficult to ignore the pressure surrounding senior fifth, especially if you have friends that are wanting to partake. But there are ways to get around it. As cliché as it may seem, a fake drink can go a long way to “fit in” with a crowd. You can also skip the facade and just have an honest conversation with your friends about why you don’t feel comfortable participating in senior fifth. If someone doesn’t understand why you don’t want to risk your life for some tradition, then maybe there are other issues going on with that relationship.
Whatever you choose to do, students should see that as the tradition of senior fifth declines, every new senior class understands the joy and memories that can be made from going to your last home game as an undergraduate. It can be bittersweet, but it can also be a story where you tell your future friends about the brisk fall weather and how you watched the Demon Deacons take home a close victory. Whatever the events are, you’ll want to remember them and not have them taken by a dangerous tradition that could end up ruining your weekend — or even your life.