Keg Party, 7pm until Dry, All are Invited!Dec 5, 2001 (Updated Jan 28, 2006) Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line Alcohol abuse is a problem with some students who don't know when to say when, and then partake in destructive activities
My college years hold many fond memories. I had endless frustration with money and a few other disappointments, but most of my memories are positive ones. Even with all the academic deadlines and financial worries, I can still say that most of my memories are good.
Social activities! Without the social release from all the worries of the week, I think I would have lost my mind! After many days of thinking about tests, lack of money, and how hungry I felt, it was a great relief to reach the end of the week and look forward to some good times, hanging out with friends and tapping a few kegs. This became a weekly ritual, reaching its climax with an all- out bash on Saturday night, when the beer flowed freely and the liberated women were in great abundance, ready and ripe for picking. For the most part, everything was fun and entertaining.
But, I admit, there were always a few exceptions.
Is Alcohol Abuse Common in College?:
This is a difficult question to assess, because it depends on how you define the word "common". If common means that alcohol abuse is visible in some people and you encounter it each week, then yes, alcohol abuse is common at colleges. But, if you define common as a majority of people, or even a statistically significant number (like say, 25 percent), then I would say that abuse is not very common at colleges.
Like most things in life, we tend to focus on the negative. This makes the problem of alcohol abuse seem much more rampant in places of higher education than it actually is. Yes, there are those who abuse the substance, but the majority of drinkers at school (and elsewhere) are not hard- core chuggers who get drunk at every opportunity and spend most of their existence at college in an alcoholic haze.
Types of Drinkers:
Based on my experience, I think that the college- age crowd can be separated into three broad groups of "partiers":
Recreational/Social Drinkers- This is the most common group of people, and it's the category that I would place myself in, along with most all of my college buddies. We looked at drinking as a social activity, a form of stress relief, and a way to wind down the week, meet new people, and seek out loose women. People in this group are not troublemakers in any way, and they know that they must get their homework done first, before they are allowed to play. I'm not saying that the people in this group don't go too far on occasion and overdo it with the booze. They sometimes do go too far. But they don't allow this to interfere with school, and they don't cause any trouble. Students that are recreational/social drinkers might act a little silly sometimes, dance on table tops, tell secrets that they should keep confidential, and do other things that seem funny at the time. But they don't cause problems. They are harmless goof- offs who make others laugh.
Abstainers- Yes, these people really do exist in college, and their numbers are probably higher than most people realize. This type of person would rather spend a Saturday night curled up in front of a television, or lying in bed reading a book, than standing in a house full of loud music and open carousing and mingling. These people are often the "unknowns" in college. If you think back to your days in the dorm, you might be able to remember a few people like this. They were usually quiet, unassuming, and would rather be left alone to study their homework or ponder the deeper meanings of the universe and mankind's existence.
Problem Drinkers- This is the group that is most visible of all, not because there are necessarily so many students who fit this category, but because it's the group that is the most destructive. In this group, you find the hardcore, non- stop, party 'til you puke drinkers. These people are not only harmful to themselves, they often harm others and, as a consequence, give the entire student body a bad name. It's not uncommon to discover that one of these types of students has been sent to a hospital for an injury, sent to jail for fighting, or even expelled from school for unruly behavior.
Can You Predict a Potential Problem Drinker?:
I'm not a psychologist, and have never claimed to be one, but there are some common traits that I noticed, among those who were problem drinkers. One thing you should know is that alcoholism is usually a sign of a deeper problem. I know one fellow student, Tom, who was an alcoholic in every way. He would act destructive when drunk, and would get very mad if there was no booze left to consume. I can remember occasions where Tom would run down the street, to the local Stop-N-Go, right at 1am, to try to make a final purchase of beer for the night (in Ohio, they have to stop selling between 1am and 5am). If he was late in getting there, and the refrigerator doors were locked, he would sometimes get mad and threaten the cashier if she wouldn't unlock the doors to the refrigeration case so that he could buy more beer. He couldn't even wait four hours to buy more- he had to have it right now! He also made comments about blowing things up with hand grenades (he was in the army reserve)and getting in fights with people he didn't like (which was almost everyone). I later discovered that Tom came from an unhappy home where his mom and dad were indifferent to him and made him feel useless. His mom and dad were very successful financially, owning a large home with tennis courts, basketball courts, indoor pool, and all sorts of amenities. They made Tom feel like a loser, pointing out that he would probably never be able to achieve what they did and that he would never be any better than middle class. After meeting with them, it was easy to see why Tom had so many problems and liked to escape reality with alcohol.
Another reason that some students go overboard with booze is something that's not as obvious as the reason I mentioned above. More often than not, the students who were the most alcoholic came from an authoritative household where booze was strictly forbidden. These students had wacko parents who would try to brainwash them into thinking that anything entertaining was wrong, and they forbid their kids from ever partaking in anything that wasn't puritanical. When these students entered college, many of them would literally run wild! College was often their first experience with open keg parties, and they were usually overwhelmed by this newfound freedom. You wouldn't believe the number of times that I saw this phenomena in action. And it was purely the parent's fault. They placed alcohol (unknowingly) on a pedastal, making it seem mysterious and appealing. When their naive kids were finally released from the home prison cell, they would go ape crazy over getting some booze to drink! I can think of dozens of kids who fit into this group. At every opportunity, if there was a chance to get some alcohol, then they wanted to consume. It didn't matter if it was the middle of the day, and they had a class to go to in less than one hour. It didn't matter if they were tired, sick, or weary. They craved alcohol because their parents turned it into the "forbidden fruit". Whenever they had any free time on their hands, these students would want to have a drink in hand, to savor the sweet nectar that their parent's so persistently forbade them from drinking.
Alcohol abuse does exist at colleges all over the country, just like it exists for other members of society, too. It's a problem that will not likely go away, but also a problem that's not as large and commonplace as most of the public believes.
Most all students fall into the category of recreational/social drinkers, and they cause no harm or threat to anyone. The only real troublemakers are the problem drinkers, who comprise a very small portion of the student body, but seem much larger than they are because they are so much more visible than the others.
If I had to break the groups down into percentages, I would say that recreational/social drinkers make up about 70 percent of all students. Abstainers make up 20 percent, and problem drinkers make up about 10 percent. Right now, if I think back to all the hundreds of people I knew in school, I can think of about 30 to 40 who were problem drinkers. Many of them paid the price for their bad decisions. I know of one guy who was expelled for arson (committed while drunk); another student who was sent to a hospital to have her stomach pumped; and another who had to drop out, because of a low grade- point average of 1.5.
My undergraduate college had a reputation for partying and social activities. This was one of the things (among many)that made it appeal to me. I didn't want to attend a strict school where student actions were dictated by another person. I wanted to go someplace where I was free to do as I pleased, and also free to accept responsibility for my actions.
I wish that more parents realized the impact that their attitudes have on their children. Forbidding alcohol, for irrational reasons, is not only idiotic, it can be destructive when the student gets older and discovers that he/she has been lied to by the parents. Once the student can plainly see that other people are drinking socially and enjoying themselves, without causing any problems, he/she will often rebel and could become alcoholic, in spite of the parent's ill- advised intentions to create a completely sober son or daughter.
When you look back at your days as a partying student, can you say, with a straight face, that you have no regrets over your drinking? I know that I can do this, and so can most other students. I'm not talking about doing silly things, like singing or taking your shirt off in the middle of a St. Patrick's Day bash. Those types of actions are harmless. What I'm talking about is destructive behavior while under the influence. Can you say with certainty that you didn't do anything you regret?
Remember when to say when. As long as you don't harm others and don't allow alcohol to interfere with your daily life, then enjoy yourself and imbibe! There's no harm in a student having a little fun, every now and then. It's a part of college, and a part of growing up. It always has been, and it always will be!
For More Educational Reading, Click on the Links Below:
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