By Thu Wati Aung, USC Student, Be Well Blogger
Drinking is stereotyped to be a big part of college life, and it can be an intimidating scene especially for freshmen and newcomers. Often, we falsely believe that drinking is cool, not drinking is lame, and everyone drinks in college.
However, according to a survey conducted here at USC, we discovered that 21% of undergraduate students do not drink alcohol and an additional 44% are light to moderate drinkers. This means that at-risk drinking is NOT the norm. In fact, there are many students that choose to abstain from drinking in college.
A big reason why people drink is to overcome stress and/or anxiety, both of which college students are exposed to. However, even though alcohol may initially create the effect of happiness, it is a depressant and eventually will cause more stress and anxiety in the long run, making it easier for drinkers to be stuck in a endless (and very damaging) loop. Finding alternative ways to deal with these stresses like exercise, meditation, counseling, or other relaxing activities are much better ways to deal with stress and anxiety.
Another reason why students may choose to drink is to socialize with their peers. However, binge drinking with a group of people to socialize may create the opposite effect. When you are drunk, you have less control over your thoughts and speech, so you are more likely to speak without thinking and offend other people. It is also definitely not social and very disgusting when you’re throwing everything back up or blacked out. Again, yet another reason to practice abstinence in social situations.
Alcohol abstinence is one way to practice safe drinking. Next week, I will be breaking down common myths surrounding the drinking culture. Make sure to check back in!