“Kid … if you need booze or drugs to enjoy your life to the fullest, then you’re doing it wrong.”

– Robin Williams

Based on my experience from the first couple of weeks at college, I get the sense that a majority of freshmen seem to be overly excited about their new-found freedom, and are rampantly scouring campus to find a frat party, or some sort of shindig so that they can “turn up.” Our culture makes this seem like normal college behavior; we work hard all week long and on the weekends we just want to rest, have a little fun, and let loose. To be honest, I am also one of those people. However I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether being drunk and/or getting high is a healthy solution to de-stressing?

Like Robin Williams said, if you need some sort of narcotic substance to always let loose, are you really living your life to its fullest potential? I would suggest probably not. That is why I think college parties are overrated — the same events occur at every single party. People have a couple drinks, do things they normally wouldn’t because of the influence of alcohol or drugs, and potentially regret their actions the next day.

From what I’ve seen so far, the type of “letting loose” students do at these parties is typically very aggressive and actually creates more problems and drama than originally intended. With the involvement of substances, inhibitions in the brain are lowered and people partake in activities they otherwise would choose not to. These actions could lead to relationship conflicts as well, as one person in the scenario attempts to avoid another. This eventually creates small emotional rifts and tears that lead to larger, possibly irreparable damage.

What about in your own experience? Have you also see this emotional harm occurring? Do you think it’s healthy for you or for others?

We should also talk about the substance abuse issue: How much alcohol is too much? It depends on your body type, weight, tolerance, the type of alcohol, and the mix of different kinds. If you do not already know your limit, are you taking the right precautions to be safe?

Consider the legal aspect: If you are under 21 and drinking, you have broken the law. You risk being caught when police could possibly come and crash the party. You risk being suspended. Let me ask you, is it really worth it? Is it also really worth it to possess illegal substances on campus, and risk being expelled? These are the things you should think about before you take drugs or get blacked out on alcohol. Are you ready to jeopardize your college education due to reckless irresponsibility?

You’ve got four years of your undergraduate education ahead of you. You need to decide what is wrong and what is right, because you will never get this time in your life back. You could be out traveling, exploring, and meeting amazing role models. There’s so much more to life than alcohol, drugs, and regrettable actions.

Image: Flickr