Fellow staff member and freshman Amanda Bialek has been a great writer for The Beacon. Recently, she wrote an article about the dangers of drinking underage on campuses across the country. While I agree with all the statistics she presented in the article, I have to address a problem that is much deeper than just saying “oh well students shouldn’t be drinking underage because it’s bad.”
I understand that many young college students make mistakes, especially with drinking. It’s important to always be mindful of your permanent record because we live in a society where the littlest mistakes can unfortunately (and sometimes wrongly) ruin a future career. The biggest problem with underage drinking is the legal drinking age itself.
Many would believe that the federal government should not be involved with deciding for the country what the legal drinking age aught to be. It should be a states decision, not a federal one. In regards to the 1984 law that made the legal drinking age set at 21 years old, The Princeton Tory made an interesting point. “A study by sociologists at the University of Indiana and State University of New York–Potsdam found that underage drinking in college campuses increased after the law was passed.”
In all honesty, it is probably best for parents to allow their kids to start drinking around the age of 15 or maybe even younger. Other countries like France have parents who let their kids start drinking a glass of wine at the family dinner table when they’re young. It is believed by doing so that it will not cause them to abuse it when they’re older teenagers and twenty-somethings. Now of course, it’s not like there are no drinking problems with the youth in other parts of the world who have less stricter drinking laws. You also have to account for family history with alcohol, too.
The point is that America has a drinking problem and I believe it stems with the fact that the drinking age needs to be lowered to 18. It makes sense to start out drinking small sips at the dinner table and then slowly progressing to a few glasses of alcohol a week over time that will most likely help reduce binge drinking when kids become young adults.
At least by the time they go off to college they won’t be full raging alcoholics because they would hopefully know their limits and won’t end up like other students who never rank before. Feel free to disagree, but drinking problems need to be solved within the household, not from within the Government.