Amherst nights—and for some, the days, too—involve respectable amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is not for everyone, and is not used all the time, but for many Amherst students, alcohol consumption is part of a weekly routine. Often time, sports teams have parties after big wins, and these parties are usually attended not only by the athletes, but other students, as well. It’s common to get the lowdown on this weekend’s parties and just go to them and drink, many times for free. Most of the time, this is due to generous seniors who pick up the tab for the poor underclassmen. When you’re a senior, you’ll probably do the same.
Pot is the other popular illegal substance, and, as is the case with alcohol, if you’re into it, there’s no problem getting it. (Even though, unlike alcohol, pot doesn’t come free.) Harder drugs are present but are far less common. It is a near consensus among students that doing hard drugs or too many "light" drugs will inevitably get in the way of academics and other activities. Perhaps here is where this ostensibly lax campus checks itself. Most students seem to be able to prioritize well: “A big paper due in two days means no partying tonight” is the common rule of thumb. It’s mostly an individual decision whether to drink or experiment with light drugs, and there is little active social pressure to do anything. Drinking, although prevalent, doesn’t determine coolness, and in fact, those students who drink frequently and heavily may be chastised by their friends after a while.