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Is Drinking at Bars the New School Clique?

Genna Apfel 

Here is a scenario. It’s Friday night and you’re done with school and work. Now it’s time to go out. Where do you go? Do you find that students typically end up at a bar or nightclub rather than staying in for the night or perhaps seeing a movie.

I don’t know about you, but it seems that many students today would rather choose to go out to a bar or nightclub. Maybe it’s the fun of doing things in college that you will probably regret the next morning, such as drinking too much and waking up the next morning to a garbage pail or your head in the toilet. Or, maybe it’s the thought of doing something you know is wrong or prohibited, but you break the rules and do it anyway. This becomes fun and exciting while you are in college. Well, whatever it may be, there seems to be a connection between students and alcohol; that is when there’s a party, there is usually drinking. Why is this?

According to an article published in April 20002 titled, “The Student Perspective on College Drinking,” by Peggy Eastman, high school and college and universities students were part of discussion groups to “learn more about alcohol use and abuse from the student perspective, and to hear how students themselves would propose to solve some of the alcohol-related problems that plague many college campuses.” Many students agreed that when there is a party there is alcohol and people felt the need to have a drink in their hand at a bar where you can mingle with students from fraternities and sororities or an athletic team.

The real question is, why do students feel they need to hang out socially at a bar? Most students can agree that if you are at a bar or nightclub, you’re more likely to see people drinking compared to a small majority that just goes to hang out. There is clearly a social connection between students and partying.

You may have finished a class or got home from work late. Now students resort to finding a bar that would probably be open until 4 a.m. because it gives them something to do. In fact, some students may find going to bar an alternative than just staying in. According to Alberta Health Services, whose job is to provide a patient-focused and quality health system, “After a couple of drinks, one person might be more relaxed, another depressed, another more wild, another angry.” All in all, students may find going to a bar a reason to loosen up and unleash they crazy side because alcohol is in their system and this gives them an excuse as to why their behavior has now changed. Also, students may feel the need to “fit in” and follow their peers as a part of a social norm. In this type of atmosphere, students may see their friends drinking and feel they need to as well.

What is the real student prospective on college drinking on our campus?

Marissa Santomaso, senior Public Relations major said, “I feel that my generation is bored and drinking makes drinking a little more interesting. I think students gather at bars and clubs because it is a designated place that everyone can hang out and most people can agree it will probably be a good time. Students nowadays think it’s lame to go just hang out at someone’s house or places like movies and bowling because they feel they need to fit in and follow their friends.”

Emily Anker, senior Business Management major added, “Some people are scared to be alone or to just stay in for a night, so I feel this is why people go out to bars and night clubs. That is one of the ways I think people try to connect with others in this type of social atmosphere that involves alcoholic beverages. In our society, I just feel that no one can go to an event or club without drinking.”

Karla Villacreses, junior Liberal Arts major, feels, “Students not only get to hang out with the people they see every day, but there’s a possibility you get to meet new people when you go out to a bar or nightclub. I think when students drink, they are more susceptible to putting down their guard and talking about things they usually wouldn’t if they were sober. This is where drinking and experimenting in college comes into play.”

Josh Kramel, junior Criminal Justice Major, added, “I think students choose to go out to bars and clubs instead of hanging out on campus because they get the opportunity to meet new people, dance, listen to music, and relieve the stress of homework away from school.”

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