By TNH Editorial Staff

This is not another “don’t drink this weekend” lecture. Let’s get that out of the way now. If you want to drink, go for it. It’s your choice. Some, but certainly not all, of the staff members you see listed to your left plan to enjoy some alcohol this weekend. As are all of our editorials featured in this space, this is a completely honest message.

Do we still have your attention?

It’s no secret that in past years the common talk among many students leading up to Homecoming focuses rather heavily on drinking. Be sure that Homecoming 2014 will be no different.

But we are not here to tell students what to do; we have no interest in doing that and it is far from the role we serve in this community. Whether you decide to enjoy Homecoming with a few drinks or not is your decision.

What we will do is ask that students and others enjoying the weekend make wise decisions and consider the implications that may come with running into trouble, particularly with the law.

We all know what the “big weekends” are at UNH: Homecoming, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo and more. Even the first sunny day leading into the spring semester last academic year beckoned masses of students to flood yards and start block parties. UNH made the news that night, particularly from a party that erupted at Madbury Court, which ended with New Hampshire state troopers armed with pepper-ball guns breaking up the crowd. A strong police presence remained throughout the day and returned a couple weeks later for Cinco de Mayo. Expect a similar presence by law enforcement this weekend with officers from several different towns coming in to support the Durham and UNH departments in their patrols.

When Tuesday’s issue of TNH comes out, nobody wants to see their name or a friend’s name in the police log.

Making the quick decision to get behind the wheel after a few drinks can lead to several different conclusions. A DWI, for example, will make a lasting impact on your life. If you get into a car accident or seriously injure someone, your “little buzz” will immediately make you responsible, regardless of the circumstances. Or maybe you make it home safely and you breathe a sigh of relief as you pull into a parking space. It’s possible, but the consequences of an accident or arrest undoubtedly outweigh the small convenience of driving. Call someone to give you and your friends a ride or to come pick up the car. It may seem like everyone is drinking on Saturday, but there will be people opting to stay sober.

Let’s be responsible for each other and ourselves this weekend. The focus should be on enjoying what is one of the best weekend of the fall semester, and making it through without any major incidences.

This is a fact: When you are in a state of inebriation, your perception of reason wavers. It is easier to make decisions ­— whether they be good or bad — that your sober self may have been uncomfortable with. In some cases, your choice may result in a positive outcome. Just as easily, it may result in a poor outcome. We all joke about the stupid-but-fun things we do under the influence of alcohol. We recognize it was a poor or risky choice, but if the outcome is okay, we can reflect on it positively. But we have also all had those experiences that end in regret. Regret sucks. Yes, that is poor language for this space, but sometimes the simplest terms can be the most effective in delivering a message.

Whether you drink or not, have fun this weekend. If you want to drink and enjoy the buzz, go for it and raise your glass to the memories we will all create this year. Just make sure they are memories and not regrets.