Timberlake: We both know how you celebrate Veishea

Ian Timberlake

Exactly one year ago during Veishea, I had a seizure. It had been a little over a year since I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. This is an epilepsy that usually presents itself in younger kids and consists of grand-mal convulsions. It had likely taken over two decades to present itself because of the fact I have always been relatively healthy and that I am not light-sensitive, so if you walk up to me on campus and strobe my eyes, I’ll likely just get angry and punch you.

Veishea last year was the perfect storm for me to have a seizure. I basically broke every rule of a “convulser”: no medication, no sleep, alcohol and too much stress. With this on my mind, I think we can talk about what Veishea really is.

I’m not going to stand on stage and tell you Veishea is about cherry pies, campaniling and parades. Granted, it’s all fun, and the food and vendors are great, the music has potential and guest speakers/entertainers are enjoyable.

What I will tell you is what you already know; Veishea is just one big stress quencher… underagers included.

Whether it’s going to class intoxicated, lighting couches on fire or having sex on automobiles in broad daylight, we all know that Veishea is good for relieving semester stress. The stress quenching is not limited to going crazy.

The misconception about Veishea is the desire to “lose control.” While I’ll agree that you should feel an increased desire to lose your inhibitions and let loose, you should still always be in control of yourself. We don’t need people jumping from tall buildings, mob minded riots, and seizures. We especially don’t need students still stuck in high school (and no, I’m not just talking about freshmen) thinking that Veishea is a game designed to help you achieve your new personal drinking “best.”

Whether you’re under 21 or not, no such obligation exists. Veishea is just the gear shifter to aid in preparing for finals. Don’t let the Veishea drinking, blazing, and riot stigma pressure you into doing something that will result in losing control of your body. If your Veishea stress relief consists of playing video games all day or reading through “Atlas Shrugged,” that’s exactly what Veishea is designed for.

As far as narcotics go, you are the result of your own decisions but I will go ahead and steal a quote from the late and great Christopher Hitchens, “Avoid all narcotics: These make you more boring rather than less and are not designed — as are the grape and the grain — to enliven company.”

Don’t let deafening bros and orange cake faces characterize the context of Veishea.

What will I be doing during Veishea weekend? I will be participating in a good ol’ Tour deFranzia. Google it. If you see me about, give me a shout.

Ian Timberlake is a senior in aerospace engineering from Chicago.