If a recent poll on this site is indicative of college-aged women across the US (and I would suggest, modestly, that the women who visit CollegeCandy are above average intelligence) then most of us drink at parties to get drunk, to get wasted.
I understand that it’s become a college rite-of-passage to go to parties and drink too much. Repeatedly. For years. Hell, I have a year of my life that I barely remember and what I do remember, I wish I didn’t.
And doesn’t that just say it all? I know that I had a great time that year and met some great people, but I did a lot of stuff I wish I hadn’t. And I met a lot of awful people. And I had a lot of rough mornings.
But there is no use in trying to tell a college student not to drink, that in the long run, you’ll probably feel more embarrassed than nostalgic about those months or years spent in a haze. And I don’t necessarily think that people shouldn’t drink (I love beer), I just wonder about the mentality that seems to have permeated our society that in order to truly have the optimal amount of fun that one has to be completely wasted.
Especially because the opposite is true; I’ve found that the more wasted one becomes, the more obnoxious, the more forgetful, and the less cautious.
So why do kids today drink so godd*mn much? Are we trying to assert ourselves as adults? No, because nothing makes a 21-year-old look more like a stupid 21-year-old than decorating their bedrooms with Miller High Life Paraphernalia, or talking incessantly about that other night when they got totally trashed and like, totally made out with that guy.
Are we trying to seem cool, or fun? Maybe, although I would argue that passing out half naked in a pool of one’s own vomit isn’t especially cool.
I think what we’re trying to do is dull the pain and confusion that comes with growing up, faced as we all are with the imminence of adulthood and the responsibility that comes with it. And so we try to have as much fun and engage in as much irresponsibility as we can while we still can. Sounds innocuous enough, but it’s become perverted into something sad and troubling.
For one thing, drinking heavily can become a habit that is difficult to break, one that can follow you far after college graduation. There have also been studies to show a direct correlation between heavy drinking and poor grades. Most startling for women, however, is the affect alcohol has on our ability to make decisions about sex. One out of five college students who usually practice safe sex do not wear protection if they have sex while intoxicated and 60% of women who are infected with STI’s have contracted them while under the influence.
It’s time that we start taking better care of ourselves. We aren’t as invincible as we may feel.