College Drinking Campaign Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

College Drinking

There are many stereotypes regarding college life and these stereotypes inform students, rightly or wrongly about ways to behave while attending school. Regardless of whether these stereotypical behaviors are detrimental or beneficial, you see them repeated by students in all regions and most ages. Films and television programs all feature certain aspects of college which are then repeated over and over again, regardless of the frequency they actually occur in real life. Most fictional representations of college life feature outrageous parties where alcohol flows like water and where adventures and misadventures happen because of the imbibing of said alcohol. Examples like Animal House and Old School and Van Wilder just to name a very select few show that in order to be considered cool and fun, you need to be willing to drink to an irresponsible level. Beer and wine and heavier liquors are supposed to be part of the college students' daily, or at the very least their weekend, diet. The key here is in the word "supposedly." Although there are usually parties on some college campuses and in some fraternity houses, this simply does not occur with the regularity that feature films and television would have people believe.

There is a phrase which those involved in health communication use to identify this difference between real alcohol consumption and the imagined. This phrase is "the culture of college drinking." As stated, films and television make it seem that every college student drinks heavily, attends wild parties regularly, and rarely has to deal with any consequences for their virulent alcohol consumption. The idea of the hard-drinking, hard-partying college student has become so ingrained in the cultural psyche, that college students begin their freshman years fully expecting to go to parties and drink heavily. Lederman & Stewart (2005) find that the images of drinking have been created but then are recreated on real-world campuses which add to the target='_blank' href='' rel="follow">mythology of the boozy college party. Therefore, the students attend parties by people who have seen the same sorts of fictional depictions of college life. The ones hosting the parties feel the need to replicate what they see on the large or small screens and have parties where large amounts of alcoholic beverage are served and then consumed by hosts and guests alike. All of the students believe that they are supposed to imbibe large quantities of alcohol because that is what they have seen. Not wanting to be separated or differentiated from the general college population, they engage in behaviors which they believe they are supposed to take part in even if they know that there is no benefit to them and that there are some potentially fatal consequences for participation.

In research studies, investigators have found that first-year college students are particularly in danger of becoming too involved in frequent alcohol consumption (Lederman & Stewart 2005). This is explained by the investigators as having to do with the fact that these students are largely choosing their own course of actions without adult supervision for the first time in their lives. Mistakes are made because these students have no real-world experience by which they can compare college parties. All they have are movies and television programs where they see college students, and in many cases high school students as well, drinking heavily and having a great time. So, they internalize the subconscious message that the way to express their sense of freedom and adulthood by doing what they see the pretty people on screen do, namely drinking.

As a college student, I have been more focused on my academics than on the social aspects of college life. However, I am aware of individuals who put more importance on partying than on finishing their work or attending classes. For those people, unsurprisingly, they found themselves struggling when it came to completing projects, staying awake in class, and in participating and being able to comprehend the lectures given by the professors. Some have slept through exams or missed on days where important information was relayed. These are some of the most…

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Works Cited

Lederman, L.C., & Stewart, L.P. (2005). No, everybody doesn't: changing mistaken notions of the extent of drinking on a college campus. Health Communication in Practice: a Case Study Approach. Lawrence Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ. 325-334.

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