Big Debate: Should students be encouraged to drink less?

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For- Helena Reid 

As sports teams’ initiations are now done and dusted, I think it’s time we reflect on whether ‘down it fresher!’ has become a little inappropriate. Perhaps when we look at the disastrous decisions and outcomes of a ‘heavy’ night, we’ll understand why student drinking should be mitigated a tad.

Initiations are a prime example of peer pressure and praised drinking. At the time, it may be hilarious to watch vulnerable first years attempt to drink ‘dirty pints’ consisting of wee, vinegar, eggs and beer or even hacking off their hair for ‘bants’. But I know some who has lived to tell the tale (and hide their heads in shame).

Not a good look- As you confidently crack out your best dance moves trying to impress the ladies or bachelors, you’ll be sure to be look more like Miley Cyrus than Beyonce when you’ve overstepped your limit. This is especially devastating when onlookers are more sober than oneself, you are only to realise this after you’ve been papped and the evidence is shared on Facebook the following day.

Dodgy escapades- Alcohol is the fuel to all foolish drunken adventures and misbehaviour. These escapades can be the basis to hilarious stories, but occasionally highly dangerous ones too. It’s probably safe to say that the fatal consequences that moments of mischief can bring are enough to encourage any student to drink less excessively.

Healthy- It is essential to add that as well as potentially causing physical harm to oneself through ‘a few too many’, that internal effects on the body can also have fatal and life threatening consequences; even years down the line. We may feel we’re invincible, but our bodies do have their limits, varying from person to person.

The majority of students have been lectured throughout their school careers about the dangers of alcohol misuse, but when we find ourselves at University we are quick to forget the generic lessons we are taught. If students are encouraged to drink less it may save them from being stripped of their dignity and even their life…

Against- Kate Bradley

The simple answer is no. Everyone has free will and can choose what substances they want to put in their body. It is not illegal and only harmful in large quantities; over a long period of abuse. We are finally adults and our alcohol consumption should be our choice: one with possible consequences but a choice all the same.

Students must be sick and tired of hearing on the news how our generation spends their time drinking, doing drugs and attacking old people; this is what the media thinks we do anyway! By labelling the country’s students in this way, society is doing us an injustice. The majority of Loughborough students aren’t doing drugs or becoming elusive members of wanted gangs, but now it seems alcohol limitation is the next target.

By no means am I condoning alcoholism but we need to start being treated as adults and not children. I’m all for a helping hand but being encouraged to drink less would probably make me want to do the opposite. Using extreme cases as an argument for sobriety is not a valid excuse as what is too much for one may be fine for another.

Being at university is all about making new discoveries and starting to make our own decisions as independent human beings. Alcohol isn’t necessarily a bad thing in moderation however we all have to reach that point of no return, at least once: even if its only product is the realisation of our limits.

Students therefore need the freedom to work out the real world, putting ourselves in the position where texting an ex is seen as a very sensible and great idea! If we’re willing to face the consequences of our drunken actions and we pose no threat to ourselves or anyone else, then consuming alcohol should remain our choice to do so in whatever quantity we want!

Helena Reid and Kate Bradley

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