When Should We Start Drinking Like Adults?
For some, arriving at college feels like you are not only getting an education, but a four-year drinking pass. Although Skidmore is not a Big Ten school, that doesn’t stop students from drinking nearly every day of the week. When YOLO (You Only Live Once) became a part of our modern language, it seemed that college students used it as an excuse for getting drunk on weekends. This YOLO-culture perpetuated the unrealistic idea that what happens in college, stays in college. That your drunken habits live within the confines of campus and after four years those memories will not impair your future. But should we continue having this mentality?
Each year, a graduating class must face the difficult question, “What are you going to do after you graduate?” Does that answer involve reigning in our drinking and partying habits? Is it appropriate to be in your mid-to-late-twenties still waking up on Sunday with a splitting headache and no recollection of the night before? We may be accepting and thankful for this free pass, but for some of us that free pass has no expiration date. Ignorance truly is bliss in this situation. Freshman year students go wild as they are away from parents and responsibilities. But by senior year, students need to face a world outside of the Skidmore bubble.
We are taught through various programs how to drink responsibly. There are repercussions for underage drinking. But it would be naive to think that a heavy drinking culture does not exist at Skidmore. By senior year we should know our tolerance and limitations, but the excuse of “it’s my last year” gets passed around and it feels like some students revert back to their freshman year antics. The phrase “I’m a college student” promotes this free pass. It allows students to hide and avoid any sort of growing up in realm of drinking. We need to realize this is not Las Vegas: what happens in college does not always stay in college. Our attitude towards going out and drinking should develop over the course of our college life, not unravel. Forgetting the consequences can inhibit us from making smart choices and realizing that there will be a world outside of college that does not involve blacking out and hangovers.
However, it is tough being in a college environment. The “adult” world is not visible to us. While we go home for breaks and weekend getaways, we don’t learn how “adults” drink. Technically, once you are 18, you’re an adult. By 21 you can drink, but is there a definitive age that marks us as being adult-drinkers? It is a personal decision to drink or not. It is also a personal decision to decide when that free pass expires. No one else can regulate your own behavior. So, although it feels like we accept the “I’m a college student” excuse, eventually we must also accept the “I’m an adult” acknowledgement.