Life Cycles Counseling with Dr. Adina Silvestri

The Freshman Binge Drinking Culture and How to Manage It

adinasilvestri.com freshman binge drinking

The Freshman Binge Drinking Culture and How to Manage It

Freshman binge drinking has been a long-time college culture notion. Entering college life can be a high time for teens. Stepping up to a new stage in life can be both exciting and nerve-racking for these teens. There are many  factors that affect why students start to drink and some of these may be quite challenging for them to manage.

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Freshman binge drinking reasons

To get drunk

In a study reported by Psych Central,  around 44% of students confessed that they binge drink alcohol in a span of two weeks. Their reason? These students report it is as simple as “to get drunk.” Although the number of students who drank increased every year, the number of abstainers also increased. This created an extreme gap between the two groups.

Peer pressure

Another common and  familiar reason for binge drinking is peer pressure. Of course, freshmen students are not new to peer pressure. They’ve surely experienced it in high school. But what makes peer pressure different in college is that everything seems novel to the freshman student. The habit of taking leaps and giving in to new things can be the deciding factor for giving in to peer pressure.

Acceptance

In line with peer pressure, freshmen students would like to be accepted in their new community. Because everything seems so new, these teens feel that they need to be socially accepted to survive college. They turn to drinking because it seems like it is what everyone does and it is a preconceived idea when entering college. This makes them think that freshman binge drinking is inevitable.

Freshmen challenges

Teens entering college encounter many challenges in their first year. They have to adjust to living alone and away from their family, which entails much responsibility. Another thing they have to manage is, their class workload. Also, they have to adapt themselves to the college atmosphere. These are a few of the struggles that can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression. They use alcohol as a getaway scheme from these problems because they feel they can temporarily forget them.

How to manage it

Psych Central says that Penn State researchers advise early intervention to avoid forming heavy drinking habits. They say that the first weeks of college is critical in preventing freshman binge drinking. Although, it also matters if the students are drinkers or non-drinkers before college. Non-drinkers are less likely to binge and this is more effective with proper guidance from parents or a trained counselor. Students must be made aware of their actions and what the negative consequences can be. They should also openly discuss their reasons for drinking to identify the root cause and ultimately find a solution to their problem.

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