By Emma Kerslake
It’s a Friday night, you’re excited, all dressed up to go out. Hours have been spent choosing an outfit and perfecting your face, all in the hope of getting some fantastic pictures. You walk into the kitchen and already the drinks are flowing and everyone has the intention of getting drunk. Fast forward five hours and you’re stumbling home in the cold, shoes off, barely able to stand from the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed. Not only have you rinsed your bank account, you can’t remember a single thing from the night, left with only several embarrassing pictures of you posted around social media sites as memories. When you wake in the morning, bleary eyed and almost dying, knowing the next two days are a complete write off, you think to yourself, was it all worth it?
This unfortunately is the drinking culture which we are surrounded by. No longer can we go out and only have a couple of drinks. God forbid you leave a club early and actually remember the majority of the night. The pressure placed onto young people to drink by their peers is enormous. At some point in our lives we have all muttered the phrase “Guys, I’m not going to drink tonight” to have it immediately shut down with a string of abuse. Nowadays, it seems the only reason that students go out is to end up completely intoxicated, rather than sticking to a couple and having a sociable night.
An interesting comparison to make when looking at the drinking culture of students in particular, is the one between the UK and the US. The UK is known for its binge drinking culture and although I can’t argue that students in the US don’t a like drink, due to the legal age being much higher at 21, they don’t have the access to alcohol as we do. From my trip to Texas last year, I found that none of the teens were bothered about drinking, preferring to have social nights out such as going for dinner or to the cinema. When looking at some of the drinking statistics, it was found that 12% of the UK population have a drinking problem, compared to only 8% of the US. This proves that although we might be a tiny island, we are guzzling down the booze at an alarming rate, one at which could leave us in a state of despair if we continue down the same path.