By Ashley Nave
According to Beth Mcmurtrie of the New York Times, college students drink to black out and have recently been choosing hard liquor over beer and wine.
In a study of 986 students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, half the students who said they drink had experienced a blackout at least once in their lifetime, according to Nancy Shute of NPR.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that “approximately two of every five college students of all ages—more than 40 percent—have reported engaging in binge drinking at least once during the past two weeks.”
The excessive drinking that students engage in at college is more than a phenomenon. It’s a practice supported by fraternities, sororities and even alumni. Breaking these traditions could cost the financial support from them, and so it continues, according to Mcmurtrie.
It’s no shock that the college environment can be a difficult transition for incoming freshmen. The repetitive gain of freedom is a constant reminder that students can lose control and that they are no longer under parental supervision.
It’s also true that not all students drink, but those who do now have the option to go out and drink as much as they’d like. They have this excess leeway because dormitories don’t set curfews, nor are parents at the college prohibiting this behavior.
The ability to control drinking is especially inhibited when they start to consume too much because the availability of alcohol continues to grow. Students who aren’t 21 can typically find someone who is of age to buy them alcohol. But what’s important to note is that these young students don’t yet see the lasting effects of binge drinking.
If alcohol exists in a child’s life before they reach college, then parents need to properly teach them about drinking. Too many parents are being overly protective of their children and once they reach college it’s an explosion of appealing and exciting new opportunities.
According to Maia Szalavitz of Time Magazine, a study of parents who allowed their teenaged children to drink in moderation found that those kids were less likely to binge drink as a young adult then teenagers who did not have parental consent to consume alcohol.
Parents have the power to influence their child’s consumption of alcohol. When parents drink with their teens at dinner or in other social settings, it gives them that small sense of satisfaction and decreases the urge for them to drink out of spite.
Michelle Staruiala, mother of three, said to Kelly Wallace in a CNN article, “He’s really, really listened to our talks and he, to this
day, never has had a drink in his life. So being 16, nowadays that’s kind of a rare thing.” Strong parental guidance can affect their child’s future and teach them self-control when it comes to drinking alcohol.
College is a place where trying new things is acceptable. So coming into the higher level of education can be safer if the student has been properly enlightened and prepared for the experience.