A Senior’s Suggestions: Know your surroundings when activities involve alcohol

Entering college as a freshman can be a stirring experience. Culture shock might be shared among students entering a new world, which is vastly different from their high school glory days. This change and newfound freedom brings much anxiety and pressure. Stresses derive from trying to fit in and make friends, joining the right clubs and the impractical amount of work professors seem to love giving out. Alcohol use is common among students, and with that in mind, it is vital to drink responsibly, by knowing your limits.

It is OK to have fun, especially in college because these are supposed to be the paramount years of your life; however, making conscious decisions is also important. As George Eliot once said, “The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” Safety should not be undermined.

Safety is sometimes shrugged off among young men and women because young people today believe that they are invincible and nothing can harm them. Only when people witness accidents, or even death firsthand, do they comprehend how vulnerable life can be. Never take people in your life for granted because in the blink of an eye they can be gone.

Many people know of drinking and driving accidents that claimed a friend or a family member. I knew two students from my graduating high school class that passed away because of car crashes involving alcohol, and they both occurred within the same month, which was devastating to the community. Not to mention any instances that have occurred on this campus as a result of alcohol. My close friend had his license revoked and his car taken away for six months as punishment for drinking and driving. Driving under the influence is an issue that should not be taken lightly.

When it comes to getting home, especially if you’re walking, it is important not to wander off alone. Having a friend or two with you is not a bad idea. To the freshmen this year: be aware of your surroundings. Random strangers you meet could prove to be dangerous and attempt to lure you into their car. It happened last year and could happen again.

They say that college is the place where you discover who you are, which makes students more prone to peer pressure if they have not discovered themselves yet. A. Armstrong once said, “If you don’t know who you are, a university is an expensive place to find out.”

Living life on the edge can be appealing to some, but it is crucial to make conscious decisions because your actions can affect the lives of many others. With the increasing cost of tuition, wasting the chance for higher education in exchange for hangovers is not wise.

The key is to stay on course, and to ask yourself the reason you are in college in the first place. Usually little slipups add up to construct immense mistakes. Remember, alcohol does not solve your problems, and can actually cause more difficulties. As college students will soon discover, the choices you make can either help or hinder your success in college and in life.

– Benjamin Moy

Senior journalism major

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