Binge drinking among college students across the United States is nothing new . It has been integrated in our society in such a way that it is assumed most will binge drink sometime throughout college. While there are obviously exceptions to this rule the fact of the matter is drinking culture in the United States assumes a large quantity of college student will engage in binge drinking throughout their college years. Binge drinking on the St. Norbert campus is not much different from what you would expect on any other college campus. The St. Norbert party scene is in many ways the typical college scene. It is because of this fact that St. Norbert is not free from the same problems we have seen nationally. However since St. Norbert is a small college this problem has a more realistic chance and higher probability of successfully cracking down on the underage alcohol consumption.
It is because of the dangers of binge drinking that is important to either have experience with alcohol or a vast understanding and education of alcohol use and abuse that I believe it is important for St. Norbert to put a stronger foot forward in the world of underage drinking. Without an experience with alcohol one will be unable to put a limitation on how much one knows they can handle. This can be very dangerous especially within a party setting. In order to ensure binge drinking does not spiral out of control knowing one’s limitation and having an understanding of alcohol is one way of making sure drinking does not spiral out of control. Many freshman at St. Norbert engage in underage drinking and face these dangers being it is easy to drink for freshman. Mainly due to weak campus enforcement of underage drinking.
It is not uncommon for one to wake up from a night of partying with an empty wallet, a sizeable hangover, and trying to figure out what happened to their keys. It is very common nationally and here at St. Norbert College for some blaming their drunken actions on the alcohol and not taking responsibility because they are under the influence. Individuals still have to take responsibility for their actions. As alcohol consumption among college students are high doesn’t mean the alcohol is the problem. The students who make excuses for their drunkenness is the problem. After a night of partying one still have to get up and take care of responsibilities, it’s those who don’t that give college partying a bad name. Whether this be a job, a paper that is due, or any other obligation. It is when one puts that night of partying in front of other more important obligations is when I feel that the line needs to be drawn. Addressing the question is binge drinking even worth it. It is a question to which I feel most college kids will ask themselves some point throughout their college career.
While it is true drinking is a fun social gathering it is those who do not handle know how to handle it is where we see a problem with binge drinking. So the question one needs to answer is how do they find the balance of safe social gathering on the weekend and the stressful life of a college student. It is through experience with alcohol and knowledge where one will be able to learn whether the party scene is worth it to them or not. Then there will the the minority that will not engage the party scene at all, while this is the minority it is also a decision made by some for various personal reasons. Often times these people have moral reasons against alcohol or are simply too busy to engage in the party scene. Whatever their reason not to engage in the party scene if one does find themselves putting alcohol in front of much more important endeavors it is then time for them to decide what is truly important in their lives.
Drinking culture at St.Norbert College in my experience is very common among the freshman class. During our week of welcome we were given a presentation on the basics of binge drinking, most of it common knowledge everyone present was familiar with. They then proceeded to tell us how to drink safely assuming we were all going to drink anyways. However throughout the presentation they did little to enforce no drinking. The speaker stated “we know most of you will drink so please be safe”. This statement made proves St. Norbert College could clearly do more to enforce underadged drinking. While this is a safe assumption to make rather than share ways to resist alcohol consumption until the legal age of twenty one they wasted our time with basic information on alcohol consumption we already knew. Demonstrating how drinking culture is viewed here at SNC and in college in general.
The stereotypical college life in this country is eating cheap unhealthy food, staying up late studying, and partying once the weekend rolls around. However just because this has been the case for large amounts of college students this life is far from glamorous. It is then one needs to examine their situation to determine what is important to them and what they want out of the college experience. Once one can determine this is when they will be able to live the college life they want. St. Norbert College is not different from the stereotypical college life, but can do much more to influence underage drinking culture on campus.