‘21 for 21’ binge drinking bad for us


Are you or a friend close to turning 21 soon? If so, what do you have planned? A nice dinner, a surprise party or maybe a night of life-threatening binge drinking? That last one doesn’t look so good if you ask me. Maybe it’s time we reconsider binge drinking on our 21st birthdays.
Drinking is super common among college students. In a study by the American Psychological Association, current and former college students were asked whether they drank to celebrate their 21st birthday. Four out of five said they consumed alcohol that day and about one third of men and one quarter of women said they consumed at least 21 drinks. The infamous “21 for 21” drinking tradition usually doesn’t end well, in fact, it’s commonly followed by another number—911.
Being a college student, drinking is a part of the culture, but we shouldn’t overdo it. Your 21st birthday isn’t so special if you ask me. Only difference between being 20 and 21 is you can now legally buy all the booze you’ve been drinking for the past couple of years. I’ve never heard of someone waiting until they turn 21 and then saying, “Alright guys, I’m finally getting drunk tonight.”
Drinking isn’t bad, but binge drinking is. A lot of college students don’t stop at one drink when out having a good time. When they turn 21 it’s even worse. Some may say it’s only one night and that you should enjoy your 21st birthday, but everything can be enjoyed in moderation. Don’t let your first night being 21 be your last night ever.
If you’re considering binge drinking to celebrate your new legal status; try to be responsible. First, get yourself a good designated driver. We can’t add to the already high number of alcohol related deaths. According to collegedrinkingprevention.gov, an estimated 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes. Second, set yourself a drink limit, or better yet a spending limit. The best way to do this is to put whatever money you plan on spending into a gift card and going to the bar with just that and your id. Your funds will dry out quicker than your thirst; trust me.
If you plan accordingly, you can still enjoy your 21st birthday and wake up safely the next day. From that day, onwards you will have free reign to drink as much as you want, but remember “With great power comes great responsibility.”