Drinking Culture In America Versus Europe

Drinking Culture In America Versus Europe

I always knew America had much different laws than other countries in Europe, but I never knew just how much they could affect drinking culture.
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For most college students, a typical weekend starts with happy hour on Friday, going out later that night, getting completely sloshed, waking up on Saturday with a killer hangover, then doing it all over again next weekend. It is no surprise that this behavior can put young adults in compromising situations, not only personally but physically. I have never been one of those kids that parties every weekend, but I was always aware that it was happening around me. It seemed normal until I saw a video on drinking in America versus drinking in Italy. I always knew America had much different laws than other countries in Europe, but I never knew just how much they could affect drinking culture.

As we all know, the legal drinking age and minimum age of purchase in the United States is 21. This law was pushed for by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and implemented more than 30 years ago. This meant that a person was completely prohibited from handling alcohol until they reached a “mature age”. In Europe, most countries’ minimum purchase age is 18. Some have an even lower age of purchase at 16 for beer and wine. I was also surprised to find out that some countries don’t even have a minimum drinking age. Alcohol is a part of every culture as a social activity. For some countries in Europe, like Italy for example, children are eased into the drinking culture. It is normal for children and their parents to have a glass of wine with dinner. They are taught at an early age that alcohol is something to drink casually and in moderation, not to get drunk. Whereas in America, young people especially engage in binge drinking. Their goal for drinking alcohol is to get drunk. Sometimes they end up blacking out or worse. Nevertheless, they continue to do it.

I think that drinking laws have something to do with how people of different countries view alcohol. Families in America are very strict when it comes to drinking, and I think we all know what happens when you tell a teenager not to do something. Binge drinking is like a sport to young people. It’s glorified by movies, TV shows and the kids that think it’s cool. I think that our drinking culture would be more like cultures in Europe if we taught kids how to be responsible when we reach the legal age instead of trying to prevent them from drinking underage altogether. It’s like throwing a toddler into a pool before they are taught how to swim. By the time we reach that age, we don’t know how to control ourselves because our families never leveled with us and taught us how to drink in moderation. If the drinking age was lower and consumption more family oriented and integrated, maybe by the time we turned 21 we would know how to be responsible.

I am in no way advocating underage drinking. I just think it is very interesting to see the differences between our culture and different cultures around the world. I like to imagine what college life in America would be like if we had adopted the same culture as our neighbors across the pond. Maybe our hospitals wouldn’t have to pump as many stomachs or tell as many families that their loved one has died from alcohol poisoning. I learn about how different it is in countries with a lower minimum drinking age and wonder if the high minimum drinking age in the United States does more harm than good.

Cover Image Credit: College Times

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches New Girl knows about True American. This crazy, non-sense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in Season 1 Episode 20.

The game, as described by New Girl character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game number one: the player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game number two: the player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game number three: the player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."



Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your New Girl-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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7 Healthy Foods College Students Can Eat That Aren't That Expensive

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive - it's the world telling you that.

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I hear it sitting in class. I hear it on the bus. I hear it in the grocery store. "Eating healthy costs so much money."

You're right. Healthy food isn't cheap, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Your Chipotle burrito and extra queso aren't cheap either. Buying healthy food items at the store and meal-prepping is the easiest way to make healthy food cheaper, point blank. I wanted to showcase a few healthy options, along with their prices, to prove healthy options are justifiable.

1. Carrots

Organic baby carrots from Walmart are $3.40 with 10 servings. That means each serving of carrots is $0.34. Skip the $3 chip bag at the gas station and pack some carrots.

2. Bell peppers

Sweet mini peppers are SO YUMMY to snack on. They're sweet and crunchy; what more could you ask for? At Walmart, a 1 lb. bag is about $3. Yes, you can be the cool kid like me who carries around a lunch bag in college.

3. Hummus

Be careful with this one. I could eat a whole thing of hummus in one sitting, so I buy it sparingly. A container of hummus usually runs around $5, but as long as you're eating an actual serving size, it can last one to two weeks.

4. Craisins

Look for the craisins with no added sugars, or else they're bound to be loaded with sugar. These are a great snack or something to add into a trail mix or on top of oatmeal! At only $6, a bag of craisins should last you about a week and a half.

5. Fruit snacks

Again, watch the added sugars. At only $8, these come out to be about $0.25 a pack. If you can't take around an actual apple or banana, fruit snacks are the way to go.

6. Snack bars

These can get expensive. That's why you need to bulk-purchase. Snack bars are also notorious for containing too many added sugars. I always go with either KIND at $1.40 per bar or CaveMan at $1.60. MUCH better than purchasing only one at a gas station at $3-$4 a pop.

7. Veggie straws

These things are addicting, not going to lie. A bag of veggie straws with 15 servings comes out to be $0.33 per serving. Once again, if you stick with the serving size, they'll last and you'll save money.

8. Wheat thins

Wheat Thins are for grey days because they make me as happy as coffee, especially the Tomato Basil kind. With 15 servings, each serving comes out to $0.25. Want two servings? $0.50 won't break the bank.

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