Commentary: Drinking and the College Experience

Finally, in just a few short weeks, I’ll be heading off to college. My family and neighbors are eager to give me advice and well wishes. But I’m beginning to notice that those conversations have become pretty biased. “You’re going to what college? I heard the parties are great there!” or “You have Econ 101 on a Friday morning? I guess you’re going to be too hung over for that!”

Huh? Is that all I should be looking forward to at college, drinking and being hung over? What about the other experiences, the exciting professors, the new roommates and friends, the city-life? Adults, including many of my friends’ parents, are all but encouraging me to drink while underage, even though it’s illegal and potentially harmful. Many adults – even those who might prohibit their kid from drinking or using drugs in high school – are, dare I say, supportive of underage alcohol consumption for college students.

“It’s part of the college experience” and “You’ve got to get it out of your system,” they say. I’ve heard, “Well, everybody drinks at college.”

As a student who is transitioning from high school to college, I have to admit, the messages are confusing. For four years of high school, most adults were against teen drinking. They would ground us, punish us, deactivate our cell phones and take away our car keys if they suspected kids were drinking. But after graduation, many adults did a complete 180. The adults I know now tell me that drinking is important for the “college experience.”

Full story of college drinking at

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.