8 Reasons Why The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered

8 Reasons Why The Drinking Age Should Be Lowered

If you are expected to make responsible, adult decisions at the age of 18, why can't alcohol be one of those decisions?
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There has always been a huge fascination with alcohol. We know that it can damage our bodies and have serious side effects, but this is why our fascination with alcohol needs to be noticed, and the age limit should be lowered. Countries across the globe have legal ages ranging from 16 to 18, to no age limit at all, which makes the United States the only country in the world to have an age limit set to 21. Children, who grow up in countries with lower age limits, learn their limit of consumption, they don’t go out and get wasted every weekend, and they drink in safe environments. They are raised around alcohol and are raised by people who have no fascination with it because alcohol is simply a part of life.

1. If you can vote, serve your country, and marry at the age of 18, you should be able to consume alcohol.

The age of 18 is a significant age for most American teenagers. You can serve your country as a member of the military and you can vote for the people who run your local, state, and national governments, so with that being said, you should be able to relax with an alcoholic beverage once in a while, right? Alcohol, when used responsibly, is a great way to unwind from adult stressors in life, and if you are able to make so many other important decisions in life, you should be able to make the decision to drink responsibly.

2. You can purchase cigarettes and tobacco products at 18.

More than 480,000 people die each year from smoking cigarettes, while drinking causes nearly 88,000 deaths per year. As these are both high numbers, deaths caused by smoking is nearly 4 times higher than drinking, but yet, 18 year olds can still purchase cigarettes and tobacco products. Both are "killers," but what sense does it make for the products with the most deaths be legal at a younger age?

3. Lowering the drinking age would decrease unsafe drinking activity.

The majority of underage drinking occurs at house parties, in frat houses, or in your friend’s barn back in the woods. These types of parties encourage binge drinking and can lead to dangerous situations like jumping off the roof or destroying a beer pong table. Now don’t get me wrong, lowering the drinking age won’t limit the amount of “ragers” thrown, but it can lower the amount of stupid decisions because they will have more of a tolerance from learning responsible drinking at a younger age.

4. There are fewer drunk driving accidents in countries with a lower drinking age.

In the U.S. the law creates a reason for underage drinkers to hide their intoxication, leading them to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. They are afraid to call home or get a ride because they are afraid to admit they are drunk, so underage drinkers tend to put matters into their own hands.

5. Underage drinkers will consume alcohol either way.

People who want to drink alcohol underage will find a way to drink alcohol. It is not hard to find alcohol and whether the drinking age is 21 or 18, there will still be underage drinkers. However, some underage drinkers get their hands on alcohol and drink it like water because they aren’t sure when the next time they can drink again. So instead of forbidding the alcohol, why not give them what they want in a regulated environment since they are just going to do it anyways.

6. Lowering the drinking age would be good for the economy.

According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, underage drinking accounts for about 17.5 percent of consumer spending in the U.S. If you put that into numbers, that is 22.5 billion dollars per year. If more people could buy alcohol legally, it would boost the revenue even more. More people would also be legal to drink in bars, restaurants, and other establishments, which would boost tax revenue as well.

7. Lowering the drinking age would result in more public drinking, making it easier for law enforcement to regulate it.

No one wants to drink at house parties forever; no one wants to drink before they go to dinner, just because they know they can’t buy the alcohol there, and no one wants to sneak a flask into concerts. People want to enjoy alcohol publically, and as people drink publically it makes it safer because there is no hiding involved.

8. Many states already allow alcohol consumption under the age of 21.

All states have their drinking age set at 21, but 45 states have exceptions. 29 states allow underage consumption to take place on private property as long as there is parental consent, and 6 of those states allow consumption even without parental consent. Then there are 10 states that permit underage drinkers to consume alcohol where it is sold, as long as they have parental consent. So, with all of these exceptions, wouldn’t it be smart to take the final step of lowering the legal limit?

I am not saying that lowering the age will take away the problems with drinking. Consuming alcohol will always require responsibility and too much consumption will always cause problems. There are problems with lowering the legal age, but in my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. The fascination with alcohol won’t go away instantly if the limit is lowered, but young children will gradually start learning alcohol safety and the right ways to enjoy alcohol, which is all we really want in the end.

Cover Image Credit: www.bu.edu

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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