College students need to be safe when drinking
Jackson Volenec — Reporter
Recreational drinking can be considered one of the most common and popular ways that college kids have fun.
But is it worth it?
The thing about college drinking is that there are many different layers to the activity. There is a large difference between responsibly drinking a bit with your friends on a fun occasion and doing it responsibly, but it becomes an entirely new thing when you start diving into the depths of alcoholism. Unfortunately, no one plans to go down this path, as most alcoholics start out as social drinkers without the intentions of building a reliance on the substance.
Practically all students in a university are affected by the alcohol surrounding them, whether that be in their residence halls or elsewhere. Some people who drink in college are able to handle their liquor responsibly, and it does not become a problem for them later in life. However, just because most people do not face serious consequences when using alcohol, that is not to say there are not serious risks that are a possibility.
First, repeated drinking on the weekend can set students up for a cycle of constant recovery, which is going to catch up to you if it is not already. Consistent alcohol consumption is a common path that leads to lowered academic performance, and potential dependence as well. Dependence on alcohol is a very self-destructive habit, as it often can lead to depression, violence, and even death.
Another major issue that arises from campus drinking is the increased risk of sexual assault at the parties and environments which people are consuming it.
A significant chunk of sexual abuse or assault cases involve one or more parties being under the influence of alcohol. Drinking can open you up to the possibility of predators seeing that and taking advantage of it in order to get what they want, as your decision making becomes impaired when drunk.
Unsafe consensual sex is also an increased risk when under the influence of alcohol. As mentioned before, your decision making is not at its best when you have had a few drinks, which can lead to poor decision making when it comes to making the necessary efforts to ensure your safety during sexual interactions. Consequences such as unwanted pregnancies or STDs are always on the table, the latter especially when you are around people you do not know.
I am not naive or preachy enough to suggest that college students just stop drinking entirely, as we all know that is a futile effort that will not really get far. At the end of the day, college students are going to do what they want to do, regardless of the potential risks that come along with it.
Peer pressure is also a factor worth considering; when everyone is doing something, one might be inclined to join his or hers friends or whoever else is participating.
If one choose to drink, whether that be on campus or elsewhere, they should always consider the very legitimate risks and dangers that come with it. If someone chooses to go to a party where you know there will be drinking, make sure to go with a group of people that they know and trust – people that will have their back should things go wrong.
Finally, make sure that they are not letting it get in the way of succeeding in the things that they care about most such as career, studies, and relationships. They are all more important than the few hours of fun that come with drinking too often.
Drinking responsibly is an adult privilege that millions have enjoyed for years without suffering the severe consequences, but has also resulted in many lives ruined as well. Make sure that drinking does not derail goals and aspirations.