SUNY New Paltz garnered its reputation as a "drug school" decades ago and has never been able to fully shed this image. Recreational pot smoking is the norm in some circles, and there always seems to be that kid in your class who looks as though he just hit a bong. On the other side of the classroom (and the drug spectrum), there's the girl who's wired on Adderall, furiously copying down the professor's every word. Some students—though not many—also experiment with psychedelics and MDMA. That being said, most NP students don’t take part in the drug scene; they’re too busy in the library, at the gym, or exploring some weird, new creative outlet—is anyone interested in DJing dubstep?
Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights are drinking nights at New Paltz. Students let off some steam by grabbing a couple of cheap 24 oz. beers at the gas stations in town (Gulf is your best bet if you don’t have a real ID) and then ending up at a house party or their favorite bar. Again, while some students binge drink like it’s their job, most kids seem to party responsibly—no one wants to be a train wreck by the end of the night. And the close proximity of campus to town means that driving is never an issue. All in all, drugs and alcohol are present at SUNY New Paltz if you want them to be, but they by no means consume student life. Many NP kids would rather devote their free time to biking around the Hudson Valley, checking out local music, or catching the latest flick at the movie theater. Whatever works for you—just don’t forget about the paper that's due next week!