For many people the stereotypical of college is drinking. That is true to some extent, the consensus of students in college drinking being about 80% while 40% are binge drinkers. Binge drinking has been a more prominent problem for U.S. campuses and everyone is trying to figure out ways to reduce it because of its terrible effects.
Some of the worst effects range from car crashes and other accidental injuries, sexual assaults, fights, community violence, academic failure, and deaths from an overdose of alcohol. So what is leading college students to binge drink more than they did before? The problems range from the parental hyper concern of their children, students without alternative ways to soothe themselves and manage problems, and not enough overall promotion of drinking responsibility among peers.
Since the economic downturn, parents have put more pressure on their children than ever before. Since kids are told what to do at a younger age from elementary school up to finally college, the kids want a bit of their own freedom from the parent. Drinking can be one of the student’s first outcries for freedom and dangerous amounts of drinking can be the consequence. A quote from the article “A Nation of Wimps” puts it, “Every Fall, parents drop off their well-groomed freshmen and within two or three days many have consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol and placed themselves in harm’s way. These kids have been controlled for so long, they just go crazy.” The article first states that, “binge drinking is a quest for authenticity and intensity of experience. It gives young people something all their own to talk about, and sharing stories about the path to passing out is a primary purpose. It’s an inverted world in which drinking to oblivion is the way to feel connected and alive. Since the parents are so much more controlling now, the students feel as if this is their only way to be free and really live life and have their own experiences.
Also what has been recently stemming from our modern techy society is that students tend to have more social anxiety and difficulty talking to one another. The easiest solution they tend to find is drinking where they are more relaxed and demands no social skills. Another quote from “A Nation of Wimps” states that, “Much of collegiate social activity is centered on alcohol consumption because it’s an anxiety reducer and demands no social skills, plus it provides an instant identity; it lets people know that you are willing to belong.” A big part of acceptance can be the consumption of alcohol as it is an easy indicator of fitting in at a party.
Lastly, is that drinking seems to be such a stigma around campus that the culture for drinking is immature. While Jersey Shore is being shown daily in the lives of partiers and their drinking habits, no one congratulates the responsible drinkers where it’s an acceptable part of living while in moderation and responsibly. Not enough times do I hear promotions for the designated driver for being responsible for the lives of their friends and others, while clubs and bars advertise for quite the opposite. A good example comes from the article, “Separating Sensible and Binge Drinking on College Campuses:” ”that sell alcohol in large containers, fishbowls and pitchers. . . special promotions: women’s nights where the women can drink free; 25-cent beers; two drinks for the price of one; and gut-busters, where people can drink all they want for one price until they have to go to the bathroom,” it would be better to create sensible drinking settings on campus –which would be possible with an 18-year-old drinking age.” The promotion of sensible drinking settings would set the curve for what is the culturally and socially acceptable way of living life and drinking. With drinking comes responsibility and setting the standards of what is socially acceptable in relation to drinking.
Overall I believe the main part that will help students in college to lessen binge drinking is the culture that we live in. If parents, teachers and campuses, along with other students make drinking a more socially acceptable and everyday part of life that binge drinking no longer seems desirable. By having a more routine like Europeans do, I believe that binge drinking will significantly decrease overall across the U.S. and in general.
- Binge Drinking (alcoholic.org)
- Causes and Consequences of College Binge Drinking (yepthatsme.com)
- Pub insurance holders to implement binge drinking bans (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
- Curbing college binge drinking: What role do ‘alcohol expectancies’ play? (eurekalert.org)
- Study: Does Alcohol in Movies Drive Teens to Binge Drink? (healthland.time.com)
- The Growing Epidemic of Binge Drinking in the United States (mayorshealthline.wordpress.com)