It is hard to deny that drinking is a large part of the college social scene. On any given Thursday night, you may overhear dozens of conversations about where people will be partying and what they will be drinking.
While many college students are responsible with their alcohol use, there are many who are not. It is widely known that irresponsible drinking negatively impacts health, work, and social relationships. It is obvious that something should be done to decrease irresponsible drinking among college students, but what? In today’s social environment many people feel obligated to drink, and it is easy to see why. Alcohol is glamorized in movies, songs, and advertisements almost everywhere you go, while at the same time everyone seems to be enjoying their time while drinking.
Drinking is generally accepted in our society, and in some social circles reckless drinking is encouraged. Even though teenagers are educated about the dangers of alcohol, the pressures exerted by society cause many to decide that the possible social benefits outweigh the negative consequences to their health.
People become irresponsible drinkers if they are introduced to alcohol in the wrong environment. Most teens are introduced to alcohol amongst friends, where they have unrealistic expectations about the pleasures of alcohol and when they are dangerously inexperienced.
When teens must learn about alcohol with no one to guide them, they risk harming their bodies and creating bad drinking habits. In the long run, deglamorizing alcohol would be the best option to reduce experimentation at too young of an age.
However, one cannot expect such changes to come about rapidly. It takes times for social conventions to change. While changing expectations about alcohol is important, something should also be done that has a more immediate impact. If teens learned to drink responsibly in a safe and friendly environment, such as with older family members or parents, it would go a long way in preventing the formation of harmful drinking habits.
While learning proper drinking habits from a parent might be the last thing a teenager will want to do, parents are experienced and can pass along their knowledge about what is right and what is wrong when it comes to alcohol.
In the current social environment, teens will want to drink and will get access to alcohol, so why not make sure they learn how to enjoy it properly? Learning responsible drinking habits early on will lead to a healthier and more successful college career.
Filip Duz can be contacted at