Hi, my name is Andrew Spangler. I am a Junior at the University of Maryland (UMD) majoring in Civil Engineering in the Clark School of Engineering. For my semester long technical writing project, I would like to explore and address a prominent on-campus problem. While the problem I chose to tackle exists on many college campuses, I have the ability to make the greatest strides in solving the issue by starting my investigation locally at UMD. One benefit of this is that I will be able to easily conduct primary research. In my weekly blog posts, I will provide different perspectives and analyses revolving around one central issue.
BUT WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
About 80 percent of college students drink alcohol. If such a large portion of the student body drinks, how harmful can it really be? It depends on how much individual students consume. Alcohol is not the problem. Overuse and dependence on it is the primary concern. Over the course of this fall semester, I aim to thoroughly explore the many facets of this issue.
Alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse are two very different things. The old saying “drink responsibly” has significant credibility to it. At many college campuses, including UMD, this advice is often blatantly ignored. Between getting caught up in drinking games, social peer pressure, and trying to relieve the stress from classes, it is easy to exceed your limits with alcohol. For some students, alcohol is extremely addicting and leads to dependence on it. The Diamondback student newspaper reports that “nearly one in five underage college students [at UMD] have alcohol problems.” Based on both personal observation and basic preliminary research, excessive alcohol consumption, also sometimes referred to as binge drinking, causes a decrease in students’ academic performance.
This on-campus problem affects nearly everyone. This includes, but is not limited to, students, parents, and faculty. In addition to potentially harming the reputation of UMD with their inadequate academic performance, binge drinking directly affects the
health of the students themselves. Excessive drinking causes diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and can have a negative affect on the immune system. These serious health detriments are apparent to most people. Students affected by health issues caused by excessive drinking will likely maintain them into their adult lives. Both the University Health Center and the Counseling Center should be concerned about this problem at UMD. Regardless of who the responsibility falls on, action needs to be taken.
So, is drinking in college really that harmful? Though it doesn’t have to be, alcohol use is often abused by students. This carries with it both academic and health-related problems.
Thanks for taking the time to give this a read. If you have any feedback or suggestions for future posts I make, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
*Source for featured image on cover