It is not always happy hour

Image by Inertia Tours Spring Break via Flickr

Stephanie Piedrahita | Opinion Director


The four years we are given in college are meant to be used wisely. Aside from the career field we choose, we learn how to balance our social and professional lives through making good decisions and reflecting on the bad ones.

Finding empty beer bottles in the new PG6 lot early Saturday morning made me realize that one of the worst decisions we can make as students is one that has followed us since the beginning of collegiate time — drinking excessively.

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, four out of five college students drink, and half of those students consume it through binge drinking. This kind of behavior has lead to injuries, assaults and deaths of thousands of students in the past so this serves as a reminder to those students who enjoyed their spring break to the fullest and need a serious reality check before popping bottles once more.

If we’re so intent on proving to society that college students are much more than the drunken mess stereotype, we need to be following through with actions that match up to that.

If you’re over 21 years of age, I would expect you to know how to handle yourself while drinking but also know the law and the consequences you face if you break it. If you’re under 21 years of age, you already know that you shouldn’t be doing it but it would be highly unrealistic to assume that it doesn’t happen.

Regardless of your age, you need to be aware of how your drinking could affect you, others and how your current decisions affect your future.

Why are you drinking in a parking lot on campus to begin with? You could get expelled if you get caught and would have it on your record permanently. This is where you have to be an adult and weigh out whether running the chance of ruining your academic career is worth a few minutes of pre-gaming you could have done somewhere else.

If you’re in a hurry, you should have accepted that maybe that isn’t the best moment to open a can of beer. I don’t even want to think about whoever was driving the car afterwards. The idea disturbs me too much to fit into 500 words.

It’s not all about whether you’d get caught or not, but if this is really an occasion to be drinking. The difference between someone who casually drinks and an alcoholic is how much you choose to drink and how frequently you do it.

Usually, it’s expected to find bottles and cans lying around after a tailgate but unfortunately these bottles were found the morning after a cancer research fundraising event. What does it say about us when we use any big event as an excuse to drink, especially philanthropic ones?

By all means, enjoy your spring break by opening up a refreshing beer with some lime and salt but please remember having some common sense. Know when you’re at your limit, throw away your trash and have someone sober drive you home.

You can have fun and live your college years to the fullest but it could all go horribly wrong in a few seconds if you’re not careful.



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