Why Do We Binge Drink?

Why Do We Binge Drink?

Drinking in excess isn't pressured, it's normalized.
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I remember those awful videos in health class where kids like me are hanging out and one of the older and cooler teens offers their friends a beer. “You wanna be cool right? C’mon, drink it!” We learned about peer pressure and just say, “no!” We learned that these kids with piercings and weird haircuts would tell us they’d stop being our friends if we didn’t just take one sip.

But that wasn’t my college experience. I didn’t have some stud tell me I was lame if I didn’t have not one, not two, but eight beers, I’d be the lamest girl in college. No, peer pressure didn’t exist for me. At parties, I never felt like I had to drink to be cool. Instead, I felt I had to drink to be normal. If a party didn’t have a solid drinking game, it wasn’t a party.

Before turning 21, I went to house parties and campouts where the expectation was to get smashed. I’d sit on the rooftop of my friend’s Pilsen apartment and drink badly mixed rum and coke. We’d throw house parties at my apartment where one person would tape two 40 oz bottles of malt liquor on their hands and call themselves “Edward 40 Hands” and they could only untape them until they drank both bottles. I remember the first time I chugged a glass bottle of something pink and fruity mixed with Everclear and I felt the rush of people I didn’t know well shout, “Chug! Chug! Chug!”

Then I stopped drinking as much. I hung around different people and it made me realize how much we normalize binge drinking. It’s something you do in your early twenties. It’s a part of discovering the freedom of adulthood. Yes, I can stay out until 3 o'clock in the morning. Yes, I can eat dinosaur chicken nuggets. Yes, I can drink a whole bottle of wine to myself. But then I began to realize, we didn’t drink to be adults. We drank because we wanted to feel alive.

One time, I worked at an event hosted at an aquarium. It was an office Christmas party for some corporate business. This event had it all- a full bar, a DJ and a live band. I felt dumbfounded when the guests at the event raced in their high heels to the bar just after we opened the doors and ordered the hardest drink they could get. They drank throughout the night, dancing to the music pumping through the speakers until nearly every person was hammered, slurring their speech, refusing to leave when we turned off the music and turned the lights on. It occurred to me then that these people hated their jobs. They had no interest in being sober at this event thrown by their company. They were tired. They were overworked. They just wanted to feel alive.

When I did go to parties again, I limited myself to three drinks because I had work the next day. I realized, observing my friends, they were unhappy, too. They drank to forget about their academic workload, or their awful part-time job, or their financial stress, or their relationship drama. A friend of mine came to the party already drunk. I hadn’t seen him in almost a year. I hugged him and he smelled of beer and he said to me, “I’ve been drinking since two.” He said to me later that night that he’s glad he’s drunk because he hates his life. He’s got no girlfriend and he’s stuck working at a gas station to pay the bills. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve had many of my friends say the same thing. They drink because they want to feel alive and that in their sober life, they didn’t feel alive. They feel like they were trapped, or life is boring or meaningless. But everyone drinks at a party.

I guess, I don’t know what I’m getting at here, whether it be that we drink because we want to feel alive, or we drink because everyone else drinks. I’ve stopped drinking excessively at parties because I don’t want to feel like that’s the only way I can have fun. I don’t want to pretend throwing up at the end of the night is the best way to feel something. And if you do drink, think about why you are drinking. Think about why your friends are drinking. It might surprise you.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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College Party 'Ratios' Are Sexist Discrimination Against Men, Change My Mind

For every guy who wants to go to a party, he needs four or five girls to accompany him.

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I'm sure at least every college student has at least been to a party once — or they've tried to. I'm a first-year female, and I've been to a few parties. I don't necessarily like them, but free drinks and good music can rope anyone in. There's also the fact that females can get into these parties with NO hassle. You have a group of 10 girls? No problem. Three girls? Step right up. Even if you're all alone, you can get in anywhere as long as you're a female.

But if you're a male? Good luck, you're most likely not going to get in.

Before I came to college, I didn't understand what "ratios" were. I mean, of course, I know what an actual ratio is in mathematical terms, but a party ratio is a little different.

It's also very very sexist.

Most parties put out a ratio when the addresses come out. They'll usually be something like 1:4 or 1:5. This actually means, that for every guy who wants to go to a party, he needs four or five girls to accompany him. Simply preparing for that and gathering girls itself is hard. Especially because if you're a male and you want your male best friend to come with you, both of you need about eight or 10 girls COMBINED. Isn't that a little too much?

Last week, my roommate dragged me out of bed to go to a party because I'd been working all week. I agreed only because the weather was somewhat okay. We went with a couple from our residence hall, one other female, and two other guys. So a total of four girls, and three guys. Obviously not good for ratios at all. When we got to the party, we found out that not only was the ratio 1:5, but a dude had to pay $5 for EVERY MISSING GIRL. So we all split up to get in, and it was me and one of the guys as a "group." They let me in, but the guy with me had to pay $15 dollars out of pocket.

And the party was a**!

What really inspired me to write this article, was when he said, "I feel really bad about paying $15 for this. I work at a grocery store and I only make money doing that, so this is really painful."

To be honest, I was pretty mad. I would never put down that much money for a stupid party. But what do you do if you're a guy and don't have a ratio? You pay.

We're always talking about the feminist movement and how men have more than females, but is this really any better?

Parties just want females for clout. Males are overshadowed. Why should only guys have to pay to get in? When asked, the answer comes down to covering the costs assumed for throwing the party. The fraternities need to cover for their drinks and any decorations, so they use this money to do so. But not every male who pays to get in drinks. So why not just let people in and then make them pay for each drink they have? It's not sexist and it makes everyone responsible for THEIR actions.

A guy shouldn't have to pay $15 so a bunch of girls can drink free alcohol. Parties should make everyone pay to get in. Anywhere from $2-$5 per person is more than enough to cover costs. Ostracizing males from females in this matter isn't trying to achieve a more equal future for anyone. It's backward, sexist, extremely segregating, and it needs to stop.

Change my mind.

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