The student drinking culture
Over the past ten years I have frequently, particularly on a Friday night or at weekends, overheard students talking about their plans for a drinking spree. I remember on one occasion hearing one female student say to another at a bus stop that she was planning to get ‘totally smashed’ and that it would not be a good night if she could remember any of it in the morning. Maybe the recession may have put some financial restraints on such conduct, but anyone familiar with higher education will know that this would not have been an isolated attitude.
Of course the longer term impact on health of such conduct would be obvious enough to most observers, but what is the more immediate impact on the students’ studies? This has now been the subject of a study by an American doctoral student, who appears to have found that leisure activities, including drinking, can have a significant impact on academic performance; though a student who is inclined to drink but who also participates in organised extra-curriculur activities may not be so badly affected.
It is certainly the case that excessive drinking has become a problem, leading to non-attendance at classes and poor performance, but also to vandalism and anti-social behaviour that can intimidate members of the community. Most anti-drinking campaigns are directed at motorists or at the wider population more generally. It may be time to target students specifically.
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