Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Why do college students drink to excess?

University of Minnesota (Duluth) student Alyssa Jo Lommel had her frostbitten fingers and feet amputated after passing out in subzero temps in December 2013. The a-holes who dropped her off didn't check to make sure she had made it inside the house.

An interesting idea -- college students drink so much because college is so undemanding. Ramp it up, college professors -- more reading, more papers, tougher tests, and ruthless grading -- it's good for them!

Chronicle of Higher Education
"A few years ago, I found myself sitting in the corner of a campus student lounge, talking to a 19-year-old named Jessica about what brought her to college, how much she studies, and why her weekends almost never involve getting drunk. 
She wasn’t a teetotaler for religious reasons and it wasn’t because there were many other fun things to do. Her college was in Rochester, Minn., which, in midwinter, consists mainly of subzero temperatures and a lot of elderly sick people in and around the Mayo Clinic. After three days there, the hotel bar seemed particularly enticing. 
Jessica wasn’t a party animal for two reasons. First, she had a lot of school work to do. The University of Minnesota’s Rochester campus is new and unusual. There are only two majors: health professions and health sciences. The classes are small and the workload demanding. Jessica told me she spends 30 to 40 hours per week studying outside of class, far more than the typical undergraduate. 
Students...drink because they have a lot of time on their hands. Studies have found that today’s full-time undergraduates are spending fewer hours on academic work in exchange for better grades than in previous generations. Substance abuse can be a product of aimlessness and boredom, something to do to fill the time.
In the long run, the most effective alcohol-abuse- prevention policy is to be a better college: a place where students are continually challenged, provoked, and engaged by the difficult work of learning."

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