Binge drinking not part of college
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 15:08
A new study conducted by Colgate University sociology professors Carolyn L. Hsu and Landon Reid concluded that students who binge drink are happier and have more fun.
The study, presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in Denver this week, took a survey of 1,595 students from a Northeastern liberal arts college and found that 64 percent of the group participated in binge drinking, which was defined as consuming four drinks for women and five for men in one session at least once within a two-week period.
The authors concluded that among students in higher status groups on campus, those who did not binge drink described being less socially satisfied than those who did, while the same was true of students in lower social status groups: Those who did binge drink reported being happier. The study’s report states that “binge drinking is a symbolic proxy for high social status in college” and that “low-status students may be using binge drinking as a vehicle for social mobility,” according to the Los Angeles Times. While many may view television shows and movies that depict teens and young college students who drink to “fit in” as hyperbolic and out of touch, this study suggests otherwise.
It should be no surprise that this trend affects UCF students. A quick stroll down University Boulevard will provide one with more than enough resources for alcohol, and typical college campus events such as sporting events revolve around getting drunk.
The UCF Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program found that when drinking, only 22 percent of students said they asked a friend to let them know when they’ve had too much to drink. A UCF student told the Central Florida Future last week that many bars in the UCF area are lax with carding students or that many who are underage can easily obtain a fake ID.
With so much opportunity within reach for students to become intoxicated, drinking patterns and students’ reasons for binge drinking, especially among freshmen, are sure to mimic that of the Colgate study. Students who are of legal drinking age are not immune either. Think about it: When was the last time you truly did not feel like drinking when all of your friends were partaking and actually followed through on abstaining? Weekend plans, sports events, birthdays and special events for the most part all revolve around alcohol. Many students face pressure from their peer group if they choose not to drink, which is something that needs to change.
The stigmas associated with alcohol need to be re-examined, and students should realize that getting wasted all the time is simply not “cool.” Being intoxicated often leads to making poor decisions, ones that could not only embarrass you in the cold light of day, but also seriously affect your health or someone else’s safety. There is nothing wrong with having a drink among friends every once in a while if one is of legal age, but the thought that abusing it can assist students in being happier and more well liked is reckless and self-defeating. UCF is a great university that holds many extracurricular activities that can help students find new interests and make new friends, ones that do not depend on or include alcohol.