College students’ binge-drinking habits are reprehensible and destructive.
College students went wild this past March in Albany, N.Y., when a small group of students from University at Albany – SUNY took their annual celebration of “kegs and eggs” too far. YouTube videos show students vandalizing cars, throwing televisions from second story apartments and causing pure mayhem. The Wall Street Journal reported “more than 40 students were charged in a pre-St. Patrick’s Day drunken riot . . . [the riot] cost the city at least $12,000 to clean up.”
I was completely appalled after watching a YouTube video of this horrible scene. Drunken behavior seems to have become a part of college culture. It is inevitable that at some point in a college student’s career, especially early in lowerclassmen years, that they will engage in some type of irresponsible drinking behavior.
I am not sure what to expect at Temple’s Spring Fling next week because as a transfer student, I have never witnessed what goes on behind the scenes, but I assume it is no different than what went on at SUNY Albany. I’ve been told students use this day as an excuse to drink all day, even taking shots of liquor, disguised in water bottles, on Beury Beach.
I imagine it’s really hard not to succumb to the peer pressure of doing what everyone else is doing.
The freedom admitted to college students is more than they have ever dreamed of, and they often experiment with their drinking tolerance, which can be dangerous. Moreover, it’s engraved in our pop culture to get “wasted.” Popular songs like, “I Love College” by Asher Roth and “Shots” by LMFAO encourage this belligerent behavior. The songs may be fun, but they should not be taken literally.
In order to achieve this drunken state, some students binge drink. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says binge drinking occurs for women when they consume four or more drinks within approximately two hours and in men when they consume five or more drinks.
According to College Drinking: Changing the Culture, created by the NIAAA, among alcohol-related deaths, 1,825 accounts for college students between the ages of 18 and 24. In addition, there are numerous adverse effects that can affect students long term as a result of binge drinking such as brain and liver damage.
As a college student, I know it’s less expensive to fill up on cheap liquor and is more accessible for those who are not of the legal drinking age. While I do think the legal drinking age has a lot to do with this issue, and though it shows no signs of changing soon, students need to be aware of the dangers of binge drinking.
Barrett Seaman, a former TIME magazine editor, observed student behavior on 12 college campuses for his book, “Binge: What Your College Student Won’t Tell You.” In an ABC News article, Seaman said by making it illegal to drink, “[students’ behavior] is covertly – and often dangerously – because there’s no telling when they will get another drink as they roam from party to party.”
As Spring Fling approaches, I know many students will kick into the “kegs and eggs” mentality, drinking from sun up, to sun down. However, you should ask yourself: Is the overkill buzz really worth sacrificing your health or facing unintended consequences of reckless behavior?
I am not one to judge because I have had my own experience with drinking, but what it made me realize is that students need to change their attitude in the way they view drinking. I understand we all need to let loose but not at the expense of getting extremely drunk. It is important to know your limit.
Most importantly, don’t drink to get drunk. I know that they may sound like it eliminates the fun in drinking, but if you value self-control you are more likely to drink responsibly.
Kierra Bussey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.