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Drinking Culture

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Friday, September 11th, 2009 in Q&As

I’m a freshman at University and I’m being invited to a lot of parties with a lot of drinking. Should I go? Is it bad for class?

The answer is generally a mixture of both no and yes for both questions.

To start this off, observe the following:

Have you ever been charged with any alcohol- or drug-related traffic violations, regardless of when they occurred?

I’ve pulled it from a very common local Law School application. This question, very carefully worded (and copy pasted on all sorts of law/medical/graduate school applications), is a ticking timebomb for most students, for very obvious reasons: a surprising number of students nowadays have judiciary records after graduation, all thanks to drinking, stupid decisions, and other crap. If you answer “yes” to the above question on this specific application, you have to write a long paper explaining explicitly what you did, the details of why you did it, and the punishment you received. It doesn’t matter if you were punished by your University, if the University expunged it, or if the local cops did it- it all matters, you have to reveal it all, and they research it all. Generally, this means you will never get into graduate school.

What does this have to do with drinking? Obviously, quite a bit.

Alcohol can be wonderful. Beer, wine, and other spirits are great. Drinking them is enjoyable, and many of them have a great depth and taste to them. That being said, drinking excessively is stupid and childish, and arguably one of the dumber things you can do in college. For some reason (I have no idea exactly why), most English/American Universities are full of students who feel like the proper way to drink is to get as drunk as possible- and not only does that insult the drink you consume, but it makes you a blabbering, ugly, vomiting, and ultimately problem causing idiot. And yes, many people (especially freshman) get arrested. Things become permanent quickly. And yes, you will have to answer “yes” to the aforementioned question.

Long story short? If you party, don’t drink. If you drink, do so sparingly, legally, and wholly reasonably. Enjoy alcohol, don’t gorge on it like some sort of petulant child trying to behave like an adult. You may be chastised for not being in the “in” group, but trust me, it will be worth it in the end.

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