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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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!
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After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...



14. Some activities on my bucket list are...


This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...



What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Quality Testing 5 Different Dollar Store Makeup Products

Do you really get what you pay for, or is the bargain actually a great deal?

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The dollar Tree boasts the slogan, 'Everything's 1 Dollar!" a price that beats many, if not most, other stores price-wise. I've found, through some of my many expeditions in this store, that there are a lot of hit-or-miss items there. I decided to experiment with the makeup, and see if it is worth it. I put the items that I tested down below, with a detailed description of my opinions. Some of them are really good, while others...are not. It's worth it, to splurge for quality on these items.

L.A. Colors Eye Shadow Palette

Woman Showing Eye Shadow · Free Stock Photo

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This is hands down, my favorite makeup product from the dollar store. The palette I chose, 'Nude' has a lot of different colors that I really like, and that are easy to blend and merge so you can get a look like the image above. It's actually my favorite eyeshadow that I've ever owned, and it looks so good on. I love the palette because the colors are very easy to control the application of. It doesn't go on too thin, and if you add too much, simply brush it down a , it blends in. Applying the eyeshadow is easy and simple, too. It glides on nicely and doesn't clump. The one issue I have is that it smudges a little after a while. It's good for daily routines, just make sure you're glancing at your mirror every 2 hours or so, to catch it before it smudges, and blend around the edge with a finger or brush.

Colormates Mascara

Selective Focus Photo of Mascara · Free Stock Photo

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This mascara is not bad as a starter, or for practice...or for a dollar. But if you want it to look professional, I wouldn't recommend it. The mascara isn't a bad color and isn't a bad consistency. The problem is that it clumps a lot, and makes eyelashes look thinner than before. It's definitely not the worst product, but I wouldn't say it was the best either.

L.A.Colors Brow Powder

A bunch of make-up brushes · Free Stock Photo

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I'll admit, I'm not the best judge of this product. I don't do anything to my eyebrows, and I'm not sure how to do anything to my eyebrows. HOWEVER, I can say that this product was not my favorite. The quality was good, as it didn't wash out easily, and stayed on for a long time. What I didn't like about the product was the fact that the two colors given looked fake. They didn't look like real colors. They also went on too thin to look natural, and too thick to look feminine. When I applied it, I Still like a guy. My eyebrows were thick, and looked painted on, even though my normal eyebrows aren't like that at all.

L.A.Colors Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeliner around eye

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Liquid eyeliner is not my friend. I have a couple of different brands, and I still can't seem to get a straight line. That being said, I wouldn't recommend this product. My biggest issue is that it's too liquid-y. It doesn't drip, but the stick catches a lot, and then it pours off the brush into bumpy lines. I also don't love this product because the stick is uncomfortable, and has little control.

L.A.Colors Pencil Eyeliner

Finally, at the bottom, a product that I do not recommend at all. This one is much easier to use than the liquid liner, but I still don't love it. The pencil's product does not come off easily, so I end up pushing much harder than I would like to and feel safe doing. The pencil also, when wet, doesn't let any of the eyeliner out. You have to let it air dry before it will work again, which is really annoying when working the inner eyelid. The pencil is my least favorite product because it feels unsafe to use, is annoying, and never seems to work well.

As you can see, bargain hunting is no picnic. There are some obvious fails, but other products are pretty good. I'd use most of these again, but the bottom two, the eyeliners, I would say go to a higher-end store and get the quality that they would sell. Still, this was a fun experiment and pleasantly surprised me with the quality of the products. Follow the link here next week, and I'll show 5 products that I would NEVER recommend you purchase.

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