Normalizing the College Binge Drinking Scene is Good For Absolutely No One

Normalizing the College Binge Drinking Scene is Good For Absolutely No One

Attending a university in a "college town" like Boston, you will, in all likelihood, encounter the stereotypical party crowd that accepts habitual binge drinking as the norm. This begets a problem when addiction rates are already reaching epidemic proportions across the nation.

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Alcohol: the most easily accessible drug.

A legal drug, in fact – that is, if you are over 21. A socially acceptable drug to partake in with coworkers, family members, or even strangers you meet at the bar. Can the same be said for drugs like heroin or cocaine? For whatever reason, alcohol is not only prevalent in today's world, but consuming copious amounts of it regularly isn't even seen as a big deal or cause of concern to most people.

In fact, bragging about how much you can drink is actually a source of pride for many, especially within the young adult college-aged crowd.

I remember my first realization that perhaps alcohol abuse was more rampant than I previously thought during Boston University's Freshman Orientation, when Dean Elmore (bless his soul) and a team of students put on a skit espousing the dangers of drinking too much – and all the RAs in every dorm gave us all a small card with emergency phone numbers and information about alcohol poisoning.

It's a good procedure, I thought to myself as I pinned the emergency card onto the walls of my dorm in Warren. (8B, wsup.) But how prevalent were these alcohol-induced emergencies that beget the need for our own Dean to personally address the issue of alcohol poisoning or peer pressure to a crowd of underage freshmen?

We weren't even allowed to legally drink, and yet here was a presentation from the Dean himself on how 12 oz of beer was equivalent to 5 oz of wine, 8 oz of malt liquor, or 1.5 oz of tequila or vodka. And so on. (If you're interested in learning more about alcohol equivalents, check out this page! It's pretty damn useful.)

The rate of college kids who have embraced binge drinking as a cultural norm is staggeringly high, even in communities unlike Boston who have not yet earned the self-proclaimed title of existing in a "college town."

And when you're living in a college town like Boston? Let's just say, if I were a college kid on the hunt for some alcohol, it was easily obtainable at the next Allston rager. Hell, even if you were in a dorm, you probably had access to a handle or two hidden under your roommate's bed. Let's not pretend like this wasn't totally what happened on a regular basis.

It's problematic because alcohol addiction is very much a real crisis afflicting our communities. Students who binge drink in college can evolve into high-functioning alcoholics who take swigs of the Ciroq hidden under their desk at work in between client meetings.

Let me hammer it home for you: binge drinking is problematic. You are probably more than aware of the short-term repercussions of consuming too much alcohol: blurry speech, vomiting, impaired judgment, blacking out completely, and suffering from a raging hangover the morning after. But many young adults take these symptoms as the expected price to pay after a big party. In other words, these short-term symptoms do little to deter the average college-age student from denouncing alcohol as a dangerous drug completely.

Because once they bounce back and recover, as our young bodies are fully capable of doing, they're already thinking of the next rager or Thirsty Thursday where they can restart the cycle. Rinse and repeat this process the entire year, and you've got your everyday college-aged alcoholic in the making.

What they neglect to realize is the long-term repercussions of consistent binge drinking: the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, the liver damage, the ulcers, and malnutrition. So maybe not every person who likes to party and unwind on Fridays and Saturdays is an alcoholic. There's nothing wrong with having some fun. But when these dangerous drinking habits become normalized – or even revered – then suddenly the leap to developing a full-blown alcohol addiction later on in life is closer than you realize.

Do you suspect alcoholism in a friend, a family member, or even yourself? Are you able to drink casually without getting to the point of total inebriation, or is it always a slippery slope from taking the first drink of the day before you begin racing towards complete intoxication?

Here are some signs that you – or someone you know – may be addicted to alcohol:

  • You've lied or fudged the truth on how much (or how frequent) you drink alcohol.
  • You regularly black out when you drink – that is, lose memories after drinking too much and only have a hazy idea of what really happened.
  • You seem incapable of limiting yourself to 1-2 drinks; instead, on every occasion you partake in alcohol, you seem to lose control of yourself and go ALL OUT with the amount of alcohol you consume. (In other words, it's never just one beer or one cocktail for the evening.)
  • You start to neglect your relationships or responsibilities when they don't involve drinking, like studying for exams or hanging out with your friends who don't drink that frequently.
  • You have attempted to quit drinking or at least slow down the pace, but you seemingly can't.
  • You drink in situations you aren't supposed to… like driving, during class, or while working.
  • You feel emotionally or physically dependent on the alcohol, and experience withdrawal symptoms when it's been a while since you last consumed alcohol. These withdrawal symptoms can be physical (insomnia, sweating, headaches) or even psychological (irritable with others, depressed, unhappy with being sober).

If any of the signs above sound all-too-familiar, remember not to panic. There are plenty of resources for alcoholics to get better and overcome their addiction. If you feel too embarrassed or shameful to admit you have an addiction, going online to find anonymous support groups to help recommend treatment methods can be your first step towards healing. Remember that it's OK to enjoy alcohol – but keep in mind that MODERATION is key. Are you capable of controlling your alcohol consumption? Be honest and candid with yourself, because it's never too late to turn your life around.

Cover Image Credit:

Photo by Drew Farwell on Unsplash

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44 Lyrics For When You Need An Instagram Caption

Your caption is just as important as the filter.
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Choosing the caption for your Instagram can be almost as challenging as deciding on a filter. So, if you’re ready to post that Insta, but don’t know what to say, here are 44 lyrics for when you need an Instagram caption.

1. “Be young, be dope, be proud.” - Lana Del Rey, "American"

2. “I can’t really see another squad tryna cross us.” - Drake, "No Tellin’"

3. “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.” - Taylor Swift, "Blank Space"

4. “I’m throwin' shade like it’s sunny.” - Nicki Minaj, "Want Some More"

5. “I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn't exist.” - Sia, "Chandelier"

6. “Find me where the wild things are.” - Alessia Cara, "Wild Things"

7. “If I was you, I'd wanna be me too.” - Meghan Trainor, "Me Too"

8. “Sweet like candy to my soul, sweet you rock and sweet you roll.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Crash Into Me"

9. “I swear this life is like the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.” - Drake, "Over"

10. “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” - Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance"

11. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing’s changed at all? - Bastille, "Pompeii"

12. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” - John Lennon, "Imagine"

13. “You can’t choose what stays and what fades away.” - Florence + The Machine, "No Light, No Light"

14. “She acts like summer and walks like rain.” - Train, "Drops of Jupiter

15. “She’s a good girl, loves her mama. Loves Jesus, and America too.” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Free Fallin’"

16. “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones.” - Coldplay, "Fix You"

17. “Say you’ll remember me.” - Taylor Swift, "Wildest Dreams"

18. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.” - Sia, "Elastic Heart"

19. “Give me the beat boys and free my soul.” - Uncle Kracker, "Drift Away"

20. “One of these days the clocks will stop, and time won’t mean a thing.” - Foo Fighters, "These Days"

21. “Sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.” - Brad Paisley, Perfect Storm

22. “You are the piece of me I wish I didn’t need.” Zedd feat. The Foxes, "Clarity"

23. “Her mind is Tiffany twisted, she’s got the Mercedes bends.” - The Eagles, "Hotel California"

24. “Life imitates art.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

25. “Nobody said it was easy, no one said it would be this hard.” - Coldplay, "The Scientist"

26. “You’re gonna keep my soul, it was yours to have long ago.” - State Radio, "Keepsake"

27. “Celebrate we will ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Two Step"

28. “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” - Florence + The Machine, "Shake it Out"

29. “There are many things I’d like to say to you but I don’t know how.” - Oasis, "Wonderwall"

30. “You say you want a revolution, well you know we all wanna change the world.” - The Beatles, "Revolution"

31. “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” Billy Currington, "People Are Crazy"

32. “Well my heart is gold, and my hands are cold.” - Halsey, "Gasoline"

33. “I don’t want to be heard, I want to be listened to.” - Twenty One Pilots, "Forest"

34. “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” - Mumford and Sons, "Awake My Soul"

35. “I think I need a sunrise, I’m tired of the sunset.” - Augustana, "Boston"

36. “All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am.” - Brandi Carlile, "The Story"

37. ‘Ready or not, here I come. Where you at? The night is young.” - Bridgit Mendler, "Ready or Not"

38. “In the land of Gods and Monsters, I was an angel.” - Lana Del Rey, "Gods And Monsters"

39. “Turns out not where, but who you’re with that really matters.” - Dave Matthews Band, "Best Of What’s Around"

40. “Know yourself, know your worth.” - Drake, "0 to 100"

41. “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown.” - Lorde, "Still Sane"

42. “Didn’t they tell you I was a savage?” - Rihanna, "Needed Me"

43. “Hands in the air like we don’t care.” - Miley Cyrus, "We Can’t Stop"

44. “I’ma keep running because a winner don’t quit on themselves.” - Beyonce, "Freedom"

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com

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Sorry, Real Life Doesn't Have A "Safe Space" For Your Excuses

Your excuses are invalid. Take responsibility for your actions.

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If I had a penny for every time I heard a college student use a pathetic excuse to get out of something, I would be a millionaire. It seems like every other person I meet these days has zero sense of responsibility in life. They're too sensitive, too unmotivated and just all around lazy. What's up with that?

Something that I don't think a lot of college students realize is that when this is all over, you get thrown out into the real world. You can't email your boss asking for project extensions; they will laugh in your face. You can't use "I have anxiety" as an excuse to get out of doing something. You can't get butthurt every time your boss comes down on your for not doing adequate work. That is life.

Sorry, but real life doesn't have a safe space for you. Your future employer won't baby you and hold your hand every step of the way. You won't be able to call in sick and skip work 3 times a week like you skip class. The real world has expectations and believe it or not, they are WAY more grueling than college.

People will judge you. You will get yelled at by your boss. Hard deadlines will be expected to be met. If you can't deal with it now, good luck to you out there because it only gets harder. I understand that everyone has their own issues in life, but if other people can get past theirs enough to work hard and be successful, your excuse is simply that: an excuse.

Life was never meant to be easy. The whole reason we applied to college was to be challenged and readied for our future careers. I will bet that almost every college student promised themselves they would work harder in college. Giving excuses isn't working harder, it's looking for the easy way out. The easy way might seem better in the short run, but it teaches you nothing and prepares you for nothing. Not to mention, people will get to know you as "that one moron that always has an excuse to not do their work." I don't know about everyone else, but that is the LAST way I would want to be known.

Instead of making an excuse, work harder. Be responsible. Meet deadlines, do your work early, manage your time. It really is simple when you look at it that way. Yeah, life gets stressful. Are you going to be the person who begs for their "safe space" and cries or are you going to get going and do what needs to be done? I know which person I would hire, that's for sure.

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