Healthy Body

Detaching the heavy drinking stereotype from students

There is, maybe always has been, a stigma attached to students of being, to put it delicately, “an avid drinker”. I for one, refute this. Not all students binge drink. This is a matter that is misinterpreted completely in my opinion.

There are phases one battles through when at college. There is the first year phase where you have achieved independence from mammy and daddy, prompting one to use their money for food on alcohol and hence getting “locked” “inebriated” or “scuttered”. This is the commonly used stereotype on students. There is this idea that this is a natural phase of growing up i.e. testing your limits. This isn’t limited to first years, but generally this is the time that you will experiment with alcohol for a while.

By second year, some but not all of us mature a bit and realize there is more to college than the Student Union bar. We learn of these society things. Free pizza and wine anyone?  Juggling,  kick boxing, tea appreciation etc. Oh and it is cheaper too. There is the odd bit of study on the side now seeing as grades are beginning to matter. Third year arrives and for some this is finals. We have been through the drinking and the late nights and the hung over labs. Let us not again please. Suddenly first years are immature for drinking and partying. Their noise is interfering with my assignment due Thursday. Since when is it unacceptable to have a night in consisting of a movie and ice cream, or Spotify and Twitter? It’s far too cold to go out in a dress, I have no money, I’m sick of shifting and drifting, I want sleep, I’m not in the mood or my favourite “I couldn’t be arsed walking there”. All of these excuses are viable in first year, yet as we move along the train we start to use them.

There is one most important group to mention in this article. There are in fact pioneers in the 18-25 age group. They make the decision not to drink and follow through with it all by themselves. Want to know another thing? It doesn’t bother them in the slightest. They survive. They still have fun at college and they don’t (in my experience) feel peer pressured into drinking.  If someone does not want to drink that is their choice and people should respect that and not demand a reason why.

So while many students may drink until their ears spill, others do not. It is an unfair representation to be faced with. It is a generalization that needs to change. If I have no money left at the end of the week, maybe it’s because I had to buy a textbook for class or pay for petrol. My money is not necessarily on alcohol. Also if I look sick and tired, maybe I am sick and tired but not necessarily because of the night before, thank you very much.