College Drinking Problem

I am the outnumbered college kid. Drunk tweets, drunk texts, and drunk Instagram photos are all that my phone seems to consist of on weekends. I see people making fools of themselves on Snapchat. I see people accidentally updating their Facebook status when they meant for it to be a personal text. I would be pretty worried if my boss or future employer were to see any of this.

I find myself embarrassed for them. The college kids who think that life revolves around drinking, because that’s what everyone else is doing, because that’s the only way they’re able to have a good time, because it makes them more social, because it makes it easier to interact with the opposite sex, because “what else are they supposed to do on the weekends?”, because “how else are they supposed to cut loose and forget about their stressful school schedule?”, are the college kids who’ve got it all wrong.

I could name so many other ways to have a fun weekend with my friends without being wasted. We could study at a local café, go to the movies, take a road trip, go on a hike, go for a walk, take a bike ride, visit a restaurant we’ve never been, go to the gym, hang out at home and play games, or have a girl’s night. None of these things have to include drinking and I’m perfectly okay with that.

I’m continuously hearing stories of how friends and mutual friends have ended up in detox. Were the three to five previous hours of intoxication really worth that medical bill? Were they worth the underage citation? If you were to ask me, my answer would be no, probably not. But the problem is that college kids think of this as a cool ‘story’ that they can tell their friends about. They don’t think of it as an almost life or death situation.

And so the thought of alcohol may make their stomach turn for a while, but eventually they don’t know what else to do on the weekends when all of their friends are out getting hammered. They turn back to drinking irresponsibly. And who knows, maybe the next time they’re in a life or death situation, they won’t be so lucky. It’s scary but it’s real. 1,825 college students die each year due to alcohol related injuries.

“Live for the nights you won’t remember with the friends you won’t forget” is an overused quote that I will never understand. I see it captioned under sloppy drunk Instagram and Facebook photos. It’s just one thing that I can’t justify; that people love getting so drunk, that they can’t remember a thing that happened when they wake up the next morning. They don’t know if they did something that they would regret. I hear so many of my friends laughing about not remembering what happened on a night when they got way too drunk. Personally, I would think of that as a night of my life completely wasted if it’s gone from my memory; a night that I could have done something productive, had a great time with friends, but actually remembered it.

If they were to see this, they’d tell me that I’m just a stick in the mud who needs to go out and have some good ole college fun. But is a life that consists of being drunk weekend after weekend after weekend, hangovers, puking, and putting your life in danger… really all that ‘fun’?

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