By Kevin Leach
I was sitting at my computer today planning my weekend when the following thought came to mind: why is St. Patrick’s Day such a big deal to college students? For some the answer is obvious, but I would merely suggest the “answer” most would respond is just another excuse.
Looking back, I can only recall a various few St. Patrick’s Days before college. Elementary school could have consisted of having a contest between your homeroom to see who could dress up in the most green for a prize given out by your teacher. In middle school, you had less enthusiasm and less interest but you made sure to punch or pinch the first person you saw not wearing green. Once in high school days, there was still less interest and the pinching you did in middle school became childish.
Knowing this, I started to ponder the interest of St. Patrick’s Day for the average person as time progressed in my head. This is what I came up with:
As a baby, we did not care for St. Patrick’s Day only because we were ignorant and didn’t know what it was. This lack of interest boomed once we entered preschool and elementary school where prizes were plentiful and enthusiasm wasn’t yet frowned upon. Our interest for this holiday peaked in our childhood around 9 or 10 years old just before we entered 5th grade. After that, it seems that the interest of St. Patrick’s Day declined with every year.
That is, until college rolled around.
I laughed as I imagined this graph in my head because I knew precisely why there was such a sudden change of heart (as I’m sure most readers can figure out as well). This is the excuse that I mentioned earlier.
Be clear: this article is not an attempt to ridicule those who participate in St. Patrick’s Day even though they are ignorant of its meaning. It is just an observation that those who heavily participate in the celebration are just using it as the excuse mentioned earlier. Do I think it’s a bad thing? Not at all. People celebrate every holiday differently and I think that’s great.
However, I know that not everyone who celebrates this day is Irish or fully aware of why we have St. Patrick’s Day. Again, does everyone who celebrates St. Patrick’s Day have to be Irish? Absolutely not, but I feel like it gives you more of a reason to partake. For instance, I wouldn’t go celebrating Hanukkah because I’m not Jewish and I wouldn’t celebrate Kwanzaa because I have no African heritage. What I do think is that college students who have near infinite resources should know why St. Patrick’s Day is important and the life of the man whose day it is named after.
Anyway, enough of the lecturing. For whatever reason you celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, I hope it was wonderful and memorable (or unmemorable depending on how you chose to celebrate).