College Drinking

The topic of college drinking was brought up recently and it’s something I dSoCoo know a little about because I did quite a bit of it in my college years. I do feel for parents having to send their children off to college with the realization there is a good chance they will drink and possibly to a dangerous point. Is there anything anyone can do about it?

Thinking of this from the perspective of someone who at times drank too much in college, survived and even eventually graduated I’m really not sure there is much anyone can do, at least from the college’s end. If there is one thing I know, the more you try to keep your children from doing something the more likely they will find a way to do it.

The real question is though: is this the college’s responsibility? Should there be more consequences and should they take more of an active role in keeping this under control?

When I was in college the majority of the drinking I did was off campus but I know some campuses are really lenient. I remember visiting a college in Miami and being shocked they handed me the 30 pack of beer to carry into the dorm.  I certainly didn’t look 21 and I didn’t look like I belonged at the college either.

It was tough to get away with drinking on campus at my college and you had to really sneak around. There were even a few times I was almost caught and I can’t tell you how many times I tried to casually walk through the main lobby of my dorm desperately trying to look as not drunk as possible.

At my college though if you were underage and wanted to drink you went off campus. Mind you, going off campus instead of being busted by an RA you could be busted by a cop instead. It was all really just a game: get as drunk as you can without being caught. Fight the man :rock:

I wish I hadn’t gone so crazy my freshman year though, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten a 1.8 and had to make up for it the rest of my college career. I guess it’s all about screwing up and learning from it. I just wish I hadn’t mixed beer and liquor those couple times…that was not fun :doh:

  1. crystal

    July 5, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    I think college drinking is one of those things that has a lot of different reasons for happening, and should be the responsibility of a few different groups.

    First of all, no one teaches kids about responsible drinking. From the time we’re in elementary school until our high school graduation, it’s drilled into our heads that drinking is bad. No one ever says, “You know, you can drink and not be completely moronic about it and kill yourself/others.” We’re so accustomed to getting lectured by parents and teachers on the evils of alcohol that when we finally get a chance to have some, we try to consume as much of it as possible. As a result, I think a lot of students (college and high school alike) drink only to get completely shitfaced – I know that was my goal when I was in college, because I thought that’s what you did when you drank. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties or so that I learned that I could drink and have more fun with a buzz than being utterly blitzed.

    As for who has to be responsible for it, I think part of it falls on the parents to stop being unrealistic in the assumptions that their kids aren’t going to drink and educate them on the consequences of drinking. I was drinking at occasional parties in high school, but never much because I knew that I’d be completely screwed when I got home and was caught. However, there were classmates of mine who would have parties at their houses, parents home or completely aware it was happening, who had no concern over what happened to people once the kegs were tapped and the wine coolers were delivered. When I graduated and went to URI I drank a fair bit, and while I don’t think it was the reason I flunked out after one semester I know a lot of friends that did flunk out because of it. I was in the “wellness dorm”, where alcohol and smoking were off-limits even if you weren’t underage, but aside from the 2 frat parties I went to that dorm was the only place I ever drank, because as long as we weren’t loud and obnoxious and weren’t seen bringing the booze inside (and with 4 ground-floor entrances, it was very easy to get it inside), then there was nothing the RAs could do to us. As long as you covered your 30-pack on the way in you were safe, and the only time anyone questioned whether or not we were drinking was when I used an empty Budweiser case to wrap a birthday present. At least once or twice a month someone was getting pulled out of the dorm in the rescue truck because of alcohol poisoning, and not once did anyone say anything about it aside from “Hey, did you see so-and-so in the ambulance? She was sooooo trashed!”

  2. Robin

    July 5, 2006 at 1:12 pm

    Crystal – Well said. I think these days it’s just impossible to avoid kids from trying drugs and alcohol but if you inform them enough they might know better when the time comes. I know I didn’t know ANYTHING so nothing was off limits for me to try. I was lucky in the end :fingerscrossed:

  3. crystal

    July 5, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    Exactly – we’re told “don’t do it!” and then let loose in the exact environment that encourages us to explore and do things we wouldn’t normally do if it weren’t for the fact that we don’t need to face any consequences because unless something bad does happen to us, no one besides our friends will know what we’re doing.

    I was lucky as well. Sure, I dropped out of school and went to work on a cruise ship where I did far stupider things while drunk and nearly got myself killed at least twice because of it (falling down a couple of stairs, almost falling beteen the ship and the dock, etc) and was moved back in with my mother by the time I was 19, but by the time I was 21 and legal to drink I had a better idea of what I could handle because once I was back to living at home, my mother knew she had a choice – she could let me have an occasional drink with them at home or go to a party with her where I wasn’t going to be stupid, or go out with friends and wind up dead.

  4. Robin

    July 5, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    I think many of us need to make mistakes and learn for ourselves what we should or shouldn’t do. I know I learned a lot by all the stupid things I did involving alcohol in college. I once had a roofi (sp) slipped into a drink but luckily my friends made SURE I went home with them. Ever since then I haven’t let strangers buy me a drink and if I did I would never take my eye off the glass. The lesson I learned could have been a lot worse but it was enough for me.

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