March 05, 2014

College Drinking: It's more dangerous than you realize {guest post}

Photo via Flickr
College is often touted as the best four years of your life, due to the seemingly care-free lifestyle full of freedom and new experiences. Often times, this freedom leads to lots of experimentation, including wild parties with alcohol abundant. It all seems like harmless fun and games while you’re dancing with your friends and doing keg stands, but drinking in college can come with many consequences. Some consequences leave us wondering, is it really worth it? Read on to find out why college is so dangerous and how you can stay safe at school.

The Majority

According to recent data compiled by 12 Keys Rehab in Florida, of the 21.6 million students who attend college, 17 million undergrads consume alcohol regularly. That’s twice the population of New York City. Of those 17 million students, 50% of them, or 8.5 million, binge drink. That’s like the whole state of Virginia being drunk at once!

Every week the average freshman in college has five alcoholic beverages. While the average female has four drinks and the average male pounds nine drinks. The video, embedded below, puts into perspective how much college students actually drink.

Infographic by 12 Keys Rehab

The Price is Wrong
With the amount and frequency that college students consume alcohol, there is no doubt that it’s a costly extracurricular activity. In fact, each year the average college student spends $500.00 on alcohol, which is enough money to pay for textbooks for one semester. The extensive budget that college students reserve for alcohol may be a big reason that they can only afford to eat Ramen noodles and pizza.

The Consequences Outweigh the Benefits
Aside from the cost of alcohol consumption, drinking in college also takes a toll on health and performance in school. Each year college students suffer major consequences from alcohol consumption. In one year, 1,825 students between the ages of 18-24 will die due to alcohol and 690,000 undergrads will suffer from assault while under the influence. The list of negative occurrences due to alcohol increases as many students become victims of sexual abuse, crime, become injured or even find themselves in jail.

Drinking in college can also hugely impact a student’s academic performance. As the average student is drunk 10.5 hours per week, time spent studying can be greatly reduced. In fact, 25% of students’ studies take a hit when they drink, causing them to miss class, do poorly on exams and have lower grades overall.

Proceeding with Caution
With all the negative consequences surrounding drinking, it’s important to either avoid drinking altogether (especially if you are underage!) or find ways to consume with caution. If you still plan on imbibing but want to do it safely, try to keep track of how many drinks you’ve had and know your limit. Be sure to drink plenty of water along with your drinks – advise consuming equal amounts of water and alcohol. Make sure your beverage source is safe and not from a stranger. Finally, never go to a party by yourself and never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.

If alcohol consumption seems too risky, there are plenty of other ways to spend your weekends. Surround yourself with friends who aren’t interested in drinking either and you’ll have just as much fun without all of the consequences.

As college students are notoriously thirsty, it’s almost impossible to avoid alcohol altogether. However, if you stay aware, safe and in control you can avoid a lot of health consequences and stay out of trouble with the law.

Adrienne is a freelance writer and designer. In college she started Wellness Housing with her roommate, a drug and alcohol free living space for students who chose not to drink. She loves that even after graduating, she has had the chance to continue promoting alternatives to our society’s drinking culture. To get in touch, follow @adrienneerin on Twitter or check out her design blog, Design Roast.

This post was sponsored by Design Roast.


  1. Great article! I was an RA at my institution so I found this super relatable to my experiences in dealing with situations :D

  2. The problem with people in the US is when they finally become 21 they don't just drink, they think getting super-drunk is awesome

  3. I agree with Adam, I think it's that whole psyche of something you want being withheld from you. We always want what we can't have. That along with peer pressure and the "everybody's doing it" cliche, people just can't do things with restraint, they have to do things to the point of excess. Drinking is one of them unfortunately

  4. This is all sound advice, I wish more people really listened... it's hard when you 'think' you are missing out on the supposed 'fun' ...

    Thank you for your comment on my blog Vett <3


I read every single comment and email and respond to all questions! Be sure to follow via GFC, Bloglovin, and social media so you keep up with posts & giveaways! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...