About Me

My name is Spencer. I'm 23 years old, and I'm a junior at Princeton. So far college has taken me five years. I've taken time off to work, transferred to USC and come back, and learned a lot along the way.

I like to think about life and what I'm going to do with mine.

I've met a lot of people my age with the same sorts of thoughts so feel free to read, take surveys, and comment.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Alcohol education

Whenever I've had alcohol edu at school, it's always the most boring and pointless waste of time. I've heard different approaches depending on the school and who teaches the "class". Among the various so called strategies I've heard, there are those who advocate no underage drinking at all, those who attempt to scare kids into never drinking through anecdotes about their alcohol and drug problems, those who just read from a rule book, and those who try to teach you the "science" and percentages concerning alcohol, legality, and poisoning. As far as I can tell, none of these ever seem to work. I get so bored and tired of just being fed the same information over and over again. Yes, I would say that some of the things, like how to recognize alcohol poisoning and what to do if it happens, are very important to know; however, in such settings, we don't ever learn it. Most of us don't even care to listen to what's being said at these mandatory meetings. If anything, we resent the fact that older people are telling us what to do without letting us have our say in the matter. I know that I, and I'm sure some of you, have a few friends who go crazy with the alcohol throughout their four years of college because they were too cooped up at home or had overly strict parents.

If we're lucky, we don't have to attend some meeting. Instead, we just have to flip through some slides and take an easy test online. But, to be honest, nobody does it. At my school, there's no penalty for not doing the prescribed alcohol education program. All the administration does is send you an annoying email once a week reminding you, and to top it off, you can just mark it as spam and never see it again.

I'm almost positive that I can speak for nearly everyone and say that we've never had an alcohol edu seminar or class that was nearly as effective as it should have been. In fact, there's only one alcohol edu program that I've ever been to that really made me think. The talk was for student-athletes only and was given by a former student-athlete with previous alcohol problems. He told anecdotes, got the crowd involved, and spoke from his heart; however, the fact that he understood what it felt like to be a college age student, the fact that he hadn't forgotten the experience like most adults, made us connect with him and be persuaded by his words. He lived that party hard life, and he went through the worst of its consequences. I think it was that understanding that allowed us to really get engaged and talk straightforwardly with him.
Unfortunately, that mandatory meeting was only for athletes, not the entire incoming class and not even 40% of the athletes showed up.

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