“Enjoy it now, because after college it’s called alcoholism!” Isn’t it annoying to hear your parents say this over and over again? I know I’m tired of hearing it. But, the truth is, that it’s important for college students to know about the problematic drinking habits that they’re developing.
Let’s face it: Puerto Ricans are party people. We drink to celebrate and blow off some steam and if not, we find an excuse to drink anyways! It’s no secret that college students are heavy drinkers, but in the UPR, I would call us: the heavyweights. The thing is when we start drinking after class, before class and even during class, it happens so often that it becomes unclear when we are not drinking. Since we are in college we disguise our constant drinking with “the college lifestyle”. So we have to ask ourselves: Is it just college alcoholism?
The Rio Piedras campus is literally right next to a street filled with at least a dozen bars, so our drinking culture it’s at an all time high. Going to the Refugio after class and drinking 3$ “chichaitos” it’s as much as a tradition as hazing freshmen on the first week of college. I don’t know how many of my friends (and myself) have gotten drunk before heading out to class.
It’s not unusual to see someone drinking a margarita at the local Mexican place and getting pretty buzzed before a Mecu class or even English lit. Hell! We all know people who have taken exams either hangover or literally tipsy. Sure, we think it’s pretty harmless if it doesn’t affect our GPA, but can binge drinking in college affect our future?
We do work hard and play hard, the lines may blur and we don’t realize how this can affect our future. College students’ mentality is all about the “you only young once” and therefore binge drinking is socially acceptable.
So, how bad is the problem REALLY?
Early Warning Signs of Alcohol Abuse:
- Missing class more than once due to a hangover;
- Get easily angered by other peoples’ comments about your heavy drinking;
- Fighting while drinking;
- Drinking excessively more than once a week during recreational and social activities;
- Routinely “binge” drinking (for women is defined as drinking more than four drinks during a night);
- Lie about how much alcohol you are consuming;
- Hanging out with only heavy drinkers
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