March 9, 2011

“Messed up Mondays, Toasted Tuesdays, Wasted Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, F***ed Up Fridays, Sloppy Saturdays, and Sometimes Sober Sundays”

Filed under: Uncategorized — publicandprivatespace @ 1:11 pm

It is commonly known that many college students have the opportunity to drink alcohol and many seize this opportunity. I’m sure that anyone who has been through college or is currently in college has seen or heard of or been the guy who passed out in the bathroom. Just check out Asher Roth’s “I Love College” music video; alcohol in college is a popular subject in media. The rise in the number of people who drink on a regular basis results from the social dynamic that exists in colleges that the students have never experienced in high school.

Our friends and peers have a large effect on the choices we make through the direct influence of peer pressure and indirect influence of social norms. Drinking alcohol is an activity in which social influence has a dominant effect on. People will put pressure on others to drink for so many reasons, some just for fun others have more malicious designs. If you meet one of your best friends at a party and he is having a good time drinking, chances are he is going to encourage you to drink to have fun with him. Many of us have been in that circumstance at some point in time where a friend is pushing us to try something we don’t really want to do. At some parties that guy offering the younger girl drinks intends to take advantage of her in a more vulnerable state due to alcohol. While people are subjected to a great deal of pressure from the friends to drink, people will subject themselves to an ever greater amount of pressure because they want to please the right social group. Some students will drink alcohol to fit in with the popular group; if Johnny drinks beer with the star athlete then he must be cool. While some drink to be included, others will avoid alcohol because they don’t want to be associated with people whom authority figures label as troublemakers and future washouts.

In the high school setting, the availability of alcohol is limited compared to that of the college environment. Walking around your neighborhood in high school to find a random party would be much harder than walking around a college campus looking for a place to party, especially frat row. The effect of social influence is greatly pressure dependent. Those who do drink do so to be part of that group because only that group has access to alcohol. Often many high school students fear to join the circle of those who drink because of fear of repercussions set by parents. Parents and other authority figures such as teachers impress on their children and students the negative consequences of drinking. Bad decisions will be made, grades will drop, and success will be one step further away for those who choose to drink in high school. That is the impression many students got from their parents. The choice to drink on a regular basis in high school is heavily affected by the pressure set by others directly and indirectly. Often the overpowering pressure of authority prevails, and students choose not to drink.

In college the social atmosphere consists of a freeing and enabling influence contrasting the pressure based environment of high school. College students are liberated from the close authority figures; this along with the greater number of more diverse people, students can pick and choose which social group to be part of. Often every group in college is more developed than those in high school which results in either older members who can buy alcohol or connections to those who can purchase alcohol. With the majority of college groups having alcohol access there is no pressure to be involved in a certain group to drink. According to an interview with Bieberman, (name changed for anonymity) students can drink with people who are similar to them and that they actually find to be cool, compared to high school where the people he would like to hang out with don’t drink. Elimination of social pressure against drinking and making drinking with students who the students would enjoy being with, results in the environment of college that supports drinking which enables a greater number of people to drink on a regular basis.

The college setting offer many new opportunities for students to experiment and indulge in new ideas or practices. Drinking is not an exception and a large factor for the opportunity to drink results from how the liberated and diverse social dynamic of college works. Understanding the risks of drinking and being aware of the numerous chances of drinking, students can be better prepared to drink responsibly.

Drinking is not an exception and a large factor for the opportunity to drink results from how the liberated and diverse social dynamic of college works. Understanding the risks of drinking and being aware of the numerous chances of drinking, students can be better prepared to drink responsibly.


David Luken *edited



  1. I think that the transition from high school to college is huge from all angles, but especially from the standpoint of drinking. I had never experienced drinking before I came to college, and most people go into college confused about whether or not they should join in on this social norm. Instead of preaching about all the dangers that can result from drinking in high school, I think that high schools should also educate students on how to make an informed decision of whether or not to drink when they enter college. I also think that high schools should stress onto students what their values are and how to make a decision about this off of that. We are all tired of hearing how dangerous drunk driving is, and how scary alcohol poisoning can be. We have heard the same speech over and over and it doesn’t seem to be working so maybe they should try to reason with us from a different angle.

    For the most part I think that drinking is just something each person has to deal with themselves once they get to college. And as hard as it might be to block everyone else out, it really should be a decision that is made on your own without too much outside influence. As bad as it sounds, I think I have benefited from the drinking experience because after seeing what happens at parties it has only strengthened my decision to stay away from alcohol. But I do agree with this post that education is the key, but maybe change up how we are being educated about it.

    —–Malynda Messer

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  2. Julie Whalen

    I agree with this post. Living in the same space as parents has a huge affect on the behavior of kids. Many kids don’t do half as much in high school as they will in college as far as drinking and partying goes. A big part of that is the fact that these parties really aren’t around that much in high school. With no one old enough to provide alcohol, parties that included it were few. In college, however, many people are around who are old enough and willing to purchase alcohol for students who are underage. This is part of the reason the transition to college is so difficult to cope with. Everything is new: new people, new atmosphere, new ways of socializing. Overindulging, as many incoming freshman do in their first weeks of freedom, negatively affects class attendance and performance, so it is something that new students have to be careful about.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

  3. Rebecca Freeman

    I agree with your blog about the differences between high school and college when it comes to alcohol. When you enter college, your basically free to do whatever you want, you don’t have your parents around, and you choose the people that you want to be close to. Like you mentioned, the people you are friends with do have a huge impact on your actions. But the good thing is that you have the ability to choose who you’re influenced by. People are all different. Some like to drink for fun, and others not so much. At high school I did feel like if you were the person that didn’t drink, then you were seen as a loser pretty much. In college people don’t really care what others do. There’s not as much judging because there’s so much diversity. I do think tht if someone does choose to drink, that they should be responsible, because like you said, people get taken advantage of. I know personally some of my friends that have done things they regret because they were intoxicated. There are consequences for actions that we choose. I love that college is an environment where you as an individual get to make the decision what you are and aren’t going to do, which is much different than high school where you’re under your parents rules. People should take all the information they’ve learned from their parents and school, and see what’s right for themselves.

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 9, 2011 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  4. I agree with your argument. I believe that when you are in high school you choose not to drink because it is hard to get access to alcohol, you have your parent to go home to and it is hard to find a random party in your town. But once you enter college and you do not have to worry about your parent knowing you drink. Kids began to drink because it is something that they have never done before and they like the way they feel when they drink. Its like that with everything, if you do something that you have never done before and you like it you will want to do it over and over again. That need to do it over and over again is what gets kids in trouble when they start to drink. One thing in this article that i dont agree with is the fact the you said that people drink to fit it. I believe that a lot of people drink because it is something fun to do and they enjoy the feeling that they get when they drink.
    -Adam Armstrong

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 10, 2011 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  5. I liked how you compared high school drinking to college drinking. I would completely agree with a lot of the points you made about this topic. In high school you had to hang out with that group that had access to alcohol to drink. I personally disliked those kids and avoided them with vigor. However, I believe that the environment that you graduate high school in will set up your future in college. By this I mean that it is usually easy to tell which people will embrace their freedom in college. It was pretty obvious which of my peers would be the alcoholics, the athletes, the nerds, etc. So, I believe that the choice to take part in drinking in college has a lot to do with what you and your friends decided to do before you got there. At least this held true for me.
    -Scott Smith

    Comment by publicandprivatespace — March 11, 2011 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

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