A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. What do these people all have in common? Saturday detention? Nope, they are all bonded by young people’s favorite friend, alcohol.
Whether I am hanging out with honors students, holy rollers, or greeks, alcohol tends to be one of the first topics brought up in conversation. So I began to wonder, could alcohol be the thing uniting the youth of my generation? Is this really the security blanket that most hold onto in social settings? These are depressing thoughts. So it’s about time to expose the effects and dangers of the alcohol consumption which is ever-present on our college campus.
It would be silly to say “bad things can’t happen to me.” Bad things can happen to you, and they will happen if you encourage them with alcohol. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, college drinking remains an intractable problem that contributes to about 1,700 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape annually. These startling facts might be enough to slow down one’s drinking for a weekend or so.
Sadly, on the weekends (and during the week) no one seems to drink moderately. If people really did just have one or two drinks to loosen up, this country would not have such a problem with alcohol abuse. But instead it is like this: you get wasted, talk about how wasted you got for most of the next week, and then, most importantly, put up photos of yourself getting wasted on Facebook.
Some might say the problem of underage drinking is exaggerated and isn’t really a big deal. But according to the U.S. Surgeon General's office, According to Factsontap, one night of heavy drinking can impair your capacity to think abstractly for up to 30 days, limiting your ability to relate textbook reading to what your professor says, or to think through a football play.
With the startling statistics about alcohol use among young people today, it is no question that it is an important issue. Alcohol affects one mentally, physically, and emotionally. It can destroy relationships and take away lives. In a generation full of young people striving to be individualists, it would be devastating to look back and realize we were all just the same.