PULSE

College Drinking Myths

chart showing relationship between gpa and drinks consumed per week.  A-3.6, B-5.5, C7.6, D/F-10.6

8 College Drinking Myths - Busted Wide Open

Myth 1: "I'm more fun when I drink."
REALITY: Believe us, no one thinks you're fun when you're slurring, stumbling all over the place, puking in your pillow, or keeping your roommates up all night. There is a big difference between laughing with someone and laughing at someone. Do you really want to be someone's entertainment?

Myth 2: "Everyone drinks heavily at parties so they can relax and hang out."
REALITY: Though many people use alcohol to help loosen them up in social situations, if you'd stop drinking for a sec to take a closer look, you'd realize that most people are not drinking heavily. There are only a few people who really get trashed at parties, lose control, embarrass themselves, or endanger their lives.

Myth 3: "It totally mellows me out to smoke a little weed after I throw back a few beers."
REALITY: Mixing drugs (including drugs like alcohol and marijuana) has what scientists call an additive effect. This means you'll feel the intoxication from both. So don't kid yourself into thinking you'll have a few drinks and then mellow out by smoking pot. Sure, you may feel mellow, but what you really are is wasted.

Myth 4: "It's no one else's business how much I drink. I can handle it."
REALITY: If you're drunk and then lose your keys and then have to pound on the door until your roommate wakes up to let you in, that affects your roommate. In fact, studies show that one person's drinking habits can affect an average of five people other than the drinker. Still think it's nobody else's business?

Myth 5: "If I don't drink, there would be nothing to do at my school."
REALITY: Uh, hello? It's called a college handbook. Maybe you stuck yours under your bed after the first week of school. Find it, read it, and learn about the clubs, sports, and service organizations your school offers. You may be surprised to find out how many people are involved in extracurricular activities other than the Drinking Team. Still not convinced? The Peer Health Education Center has a list of 101 things to do in San Luis Obispo without drugs or alcohol. You should check it out.

Myth 6: "I'm having as much fun as I can while I'm in college. As soon as I graduate I'll get my act together."
REALITY: Your drinking habits can keep you from attending class, studying regularly, or getting involved in a career-oriented club or internship. Plus, if you're thinking of going to grad school, you still need to be making the grade so that your transcripts look good. One other thing to keep in mind: Even though no one goes to college intending to become an alcoholic, heavy drinking behavior in college can ultimately lead some people to full-blown alcoholism after college.

Myth 7: ""Even though my mom or dad is an alcoholic, I know how to drink without letting it get out of hand."
REALITY: Maybe, maybe not. Children who grow up in homes with parental alcoholism are three to four times more likely to become alcoholics themselves. Though this does not mean you'll definitely have an alcohol problem if one of your parents does, it does mean you should pay special attention to your behavior. You are not like people whose parents are not alcoholics.

Myth 8: "I just drink socially."
REALITY: Drinking with other people does not make you a social drinker. Social drinkers might drink regularly, but they don't get drunk. Nor does a social drinker exhibit any of the clinical signs of addition to alcohol. Visit the self-assessment portion of this website to find out if partying plays too big a part in your life.