Erick Waters lies hospitalized in Condell Medical Centre. He is nursing broken bones and wounds sustained after a gruesome fall he sustained this Saturday. He is a 20-year-old student of electrical engineering at the prestigious University of Chicago. He was attending a friend’s party at the hall of residents for students when he fell three floors down. Medical tests carried on him after the fall showed an 80% level of intoxication. Research by police has revealed that the people in attendance were mostly 20 years and below (Flay, 2005). The police are still investigating the possible source of the alcohol. The source is bound to face prosecution for selling alcohol to under ages. Although Erick is being treated for his injuries which are not life threatening, and the aim of the story is to bring to attention just how rampant the problem of underage drinking in campus is becoming and how it has led to serious social consequences.
The traditional definition of college is a place where students are meant to grow and mature both academically and socially. It is the place where acquire life skills that can enable them make sound decision both in the present and the future. But times have changed and colleges have become places where under ages get to be uncontrollably exposed to alcohol. It has become so rampart to the point where some parents and learning facilitators have come to accept underage drinking as part of the orientation to college life. This habit has led to young people dying or getting badly injured as a result of the acts they commit after drinking. Cases of assaults, un safe sex, destruction of property and fatal of all, failing in academic programs have been directly linked to the problem of underage drinking among college students.
Young adults are more susceptible to alcohol abuse and this has been proved by studies done in neuroanatomy (Greenberg, 2009). Social research has found out that college bound student drink less until they get into college where their consumption increases. This will decrease again when they get out of campus. This can be linked to the campus environment where there is lots of freedom and students relate mostly to the people of the same age group. Most people tend to assume that drinking of under ages on campus is just a normal rite of passage. This is not so as indicated by the various problems that I have previously linked to drinking.
There is a period in the American history when tobacco indulgence was rejected as a socially accepted habit. This led to the decline of its abuse. Our attitudes towards the problem of underage drinking might be pushing this habit too far. We need to change this. Fostering and developing a culture where underage drinking does not play a central part of college life is a possibility. College and campus bashes can be fun without alcohol being included in the menu. Providing special events with no alcohol that run late into the night might be a good idea
Is there any hope of to the change of these situations among college students? Janice is a proof of the existence for the existence of hope. A few months ago the only reason she had for going to parties was to get drunk! But after a near fatal experience with alcohol she made the choice to start sessions with the campus counselor. Through journeying with her she has different motives of going to parties (Hawkins, 2004). These include having fun playing board games, meeting new people and dancing. She is the once pleasant person she used to be. Her Mondays in school have become more constructive as studies as opposed practice of nursing hangovers. She is also conscious of the fact that her health risks due to alcohol have been reduced.
Change of attitude is the beginning of change in the problem of underage age drinking among college teens. Students and guardians need to change their idea of fun and acceptance of underage drinking as part of college experience. There is more to college life than binge drinking. The sooner young adults realize this the more productive their college experiences will be. Persistence and consistency is a must for this to be a success.
Flay (2005). Standards of evidence: criteria for efficacy, effectiveness and dissemination. Prev Sci. 6 (3):151 –175.
Greenberg, M (2009). Preventive interventions addressing underage drinking: State of the evidence and steps towards Public Health impact. Chicago: Routledge.
Hawkins J (2004) Underage Drinking: Prohibitions against hosting underage drinking parties. New York: Bantam Books.