It’s a celebration, not an excuse

If you’re a high schooler and live anywhere near the city, going to events like the dying of the Chicago River for St. Patrick’s Day, Lollapalooza, and even the Pride Parade is almost required if you want to live the true “Chicago experience.”

Well, maybe not, but these are the type of events that result in days of Facebook photos and Instagram posts, and this is true for students at New Trier as well.

Luckily, our community is so conveniently located that we have access to all of these exciting events.

My issue, though, is that too many get caught up in the hype of these celebrations. They either don’t understand the meaning of the event or are just attending for the wrong reasons.

It’s not solely the teenagers who are out of control, but even adults just don’t know how to handle themselves appropriately.

These people make for good stories, I guess.

This past Saturday, I attended the St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the first time. I was excited not only because I’m 50% Irish, but also because I thought this was an event that I had to attend before I leave for college.

Before I left, my mom told me about the wild characters that I should expect to see downtown, but I wasn’t prepared for some of the things that I saw.

From afar, I saw a young man with blood running down the side of his head. I’m not sure how this happened, but I was concerned.

I also read on the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day police blotter that there were people passed out in many different public places like restrooms and even on street corners.

For people of age, drinking on St. Patrick’s Day seems inevitable; I just didn’t realize the extent to which people do it.

The holiday of St. Patrick’s Day honors the traditional death of Saint Patrick who is the patron saint of Ireland.

Obviously, I knew that this holiday was considered one of the rowdier ones, but it’s a little discouraging seeing so many people make the trek down to Michigan Avenue just to party.

I know not everyone is Irish, but going down just to see the green river or floats in the parade is respectable compared to the people who enjoy the drinking more than the holiday.

The same goes for Lollapalooza and the Pride Parade. Both of these events involve content that some people are very passionate about, excited for, and even proud of.

Lollapalooza hosts around one hundred artists and bands. Many people buy the expensive tickets because they get the opportunity to experience some of their favorite performances live. On the other hand, some use it as a nonstop, three day party.

Then there’s the Pride Parade which is an important event for anyone who supports the LGBTQ community.

I ‘ve never been to this parade myself, but I’ve heard that the audience there is wild as well.

Some may argue that this is because the parade itself is provocative, but the point of this parade is to send a message of being proud of who you are and that gives no reason to be out of control.

It’s just disappointing that some people have other motives when attending these events.

People should celebrate and experience events for the right reasons.

There’s no shame in having fun, but why does it have to involve out of control behavior?