Drinking Culture In America Versus Europe
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

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.

29499
Drinking Culture In America Versus Europe
College Times

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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

51358
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

122847
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments