The NCAAD found that 4 out of 5 college students drink. About 50% of the drinkers, binge drink with friends. While the negative effects of college student drinking have been extensively researched, there are not many studies that answer the question of: why do college students drink?
Why Do College Students Drink?
While every student has their own unique reasons for drinking in college, there are a few common reasons that apply to most young adults at that level. College freshmen, new to the college environment and eager to establish friendships and to fit into their social surroundings commonly begin drinking as a way to fit in. Most students also drink to open up on a social level and relax to ease the stress of studies.
Unfortunately, there are college students who promote and push the idea of drinking by pressuring others to feel like in order to fit in, they need to drink. College environments, sadly, make it hard to say “no” to drinking.
Drinking In High School
A 2012 “Monitoring The Future” study found that college is not the first place young people experience alcohol consumption. 42% of high school seniors reported alcohol consumption and over 90% admitted that obtaining alcohol was not challenging. The earlier students were introduced to alcohol, the greater the chance that they would develop a drinking problem during their college tenure.
Warning Signs Of Binge Drinking
The sad truth is that college and binge drinking have been linked together intrinsically. College students have been known to use their college years to test their limits in a wide variety of ways, including alcohol consumption. Some warnings signs to indicate that a student is drinking on a regular basis may include:
- Drinking for the sake of getting drunk
- Decreasing GPA
- Alcohol being used as a stress coping mechanism
- An increase in antisocial behavior
Increased Likelihood Of College Student Drinking
Many studies have highlighted the impact of intense and increased academic pressures by indicating that high school students who are planning on attending a college, are less likely to drink than those that are not. However, once attending college, those same students are actually more likely to drink than those who do not opt to attend college.
While this is not a negative reflection of college as a whole of course, it does show that the college years can be turbulent times during which students often struggle to deal with significant changes, and as such, turn to alcohol for help.
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