Disoriented And Discombobulated: College Drunks Essay, Research Paper
Disoriented and Discombobulated:
Every fall, students return to college campuses for yet another year of learning. They return from summers of hard work to pay for their tuition, to summers of partying and relaxation. More and more years into their studies, the numbers of classmates drop off. But students do return and for what reasons: to better themselves, for some more partying, or both? Is this the time in everyone’s life to let it all loose? Are we to let this cycle go on, wasting away precious time and brain cells? What are the facts about alcohol consumption of college campuses? These are just a few questions that hopefully will be shown in this paper.
The first night in college is a night that never leaves a person’s mind. That night, for many students, is the night they are away from home for the first time. This night is very crucial in the sense of what his/her days of studying are to be.
Is the person going to be a partier or a studier? Many argue that it takes much more than one night to tell what kind of a student a person is going to be. It is true in some cases, but I believe the first initial thought that goes through a person’s mind is the true belief that person has. For instance, a young man arrives early on the campus scene because he is a football player and has practice in the upcoming days. This young man is going to be with guys exactly like him on these first days. They introduce themselves to each other and go from there. What are they going to do on these first lonely nights on an empty campus? They are going to go out with some of the older guys on the team and drink. They are not going to get drunk but they are going to consume amounts of alcohol. Why do they have to drink? In today’s American culture, college students interact over a nice, ice-cold beer. Football players before the older guys did it to them so they are going to do it to us. It is a cycle that college students get into. Beer gives a false illusion that everything is o.k., and that if you’re doing it, I’m doing it, and everyone is doing it, so lets talk about life. The first nights are what make a college student who they are.
After the first night, sadly, things do not settle down. The first semester, for a college student, is the one that most students’ grades are the poorest. Some students can make the transition of freedom with ease, while others struggle. The first semester, like the first night, is going to bring on many new experiences. Students have the choice of going out at night to a party or staying in for a night of studying. Studying is rarely chosen. Even though the student didn’t have a test the next day, he/she might have one the next day, and the late night cramming sessions the night before the test are not going to help anything, because of what he/she did the night before is still affecting him/her. This is a problem students do have. They think because the test is not tomorrow but the next day, that it is all right to go out and drink alcohol. After the night of partying, the student tries to study, but he/she has a problem: his/her mind does not want to work (10 Willimon and Naylor). This first semester is the learning period. It is a time to pick up good habits, although many pick up bad ones. The good students prosper and press on, while the bad students barely squeak by or worse, get kicked out of school.
The next three and a half years are pretty much the same. Like said earlier, the good students prosper, and the bad ones just go away. By now, students have experienced enough to make rational decisions. They know what has to be done and what does not need to be done.
Do they really? Students show some pretty moronic behavior that does not show any rationalization existed. Studies from the past state that people who drink more than two times a week, and on those occasions drink more than four drinks are considered alcoholics. Under this definition, more than fifty percent of the college population would be classified an alcoholic. As age increases, the number of times students go to bars does also. The amount of alcohol that students drink rises also. The tolerance level, or level at which a person starts to feel the effects of the alcohol, rises, so students feel they need to drink more. This is where the lack of rationalization becomes a factor. Students at parties and bars indulge a bit, especially when intoxicated. They can drink in many different ways, too. Drinking games are the most lethal. Students lose track of what and how much they are drinking during these games. Recent cases like Scott Kruger of MIT and Benjamin Wynne of Louisiana State University have brought these games to the attention of the public. Kruger died when he had a blood alcohol content of .41, five times over the legal limit. He fell into a coma and died couple days later. Wynne is the most extreme case I have heard; he had a blood alcohol content of .58, six times over the legal limit. He just died. The same party Wynne was attending, eleven other people were treated for alcohol poisoning. Drinking games were obviously the cause for these high levels of intoxication. These are just a few of the hundreds of cases that happen each year (1 Drinking on Campus).
Students have way more problems than what has already been shown. Many cases of stress, caused by school, have arisen. Many students have problems more complex than can perceived. Students go through school with problems that only professional help can cure, but go on with life helpless. In cases, alcohol is their only friend. Many students do not know they have a problem. They drink and a false illusion that their problems go away arises (4-8 Newton).
Help can come in many ways. Schools have special departments set up especially for these situations. Stress and alcoholism are situations that should not be and cannot be matters taken lightly. In the simplest cases, a caring friend is only needed. People need the occasional oil change (revealing what is on their mind to someone). Reaching out to people can only help situations. Most of the time the friend is only needed, but in more severe cases, professional help is the only answer. School help is the next down the line of assistance. They are educated to give advice and help students through their tough times. Hopefully, this is all that is needed to fix the students’ problems. If additional help is needed, the counselor can recommend the student to a more professional person like a psychiatrist or an alcohol advisor. These people are the last line of defense and usually finish the job.
College campuses have to realize that the problems do not fix themselves. We all have to fix them. Alcohol is a drug that depresses an individual; it is a depressant. When depressed people use alcohol to fix their problems, it only hurts the problem further. Stress has to be overcome or a person cannot live. Until the day everyone has the initiative to stop consuming alcohol, problems will occur.
1. Drinking On Campus
2. Newton, Fred B. The Stressed Student
Willimon, William H., and Naylor, Thomas H. The Abandoned Generation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995.