College is a time filled to the brim with experiences, some wonderful and beneficial, others not so much. Finally, for the first time in our lives, we get the opportunity to stand on our own two feet, making decisions.
There are a plethora of advantages to this, but it also requires responsibility and it can be overwhelming. As part of this decision-making, drinking is common practice among college -age young adults.
Party culture and fear of missing out drives droves of students to social events where collectively they can relate to one another and bask in the glory days of a vitalized teen spirit.
However, underage drinking is not okay. Drinking will not fill the void created by the realities of growing up and facing adulthood.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, each year about 1,825 college students die from alcohol related injuries. 696,000 students are assaulted by those who are drunk and 97,000 students experience sexual assault.
It is for this reason that Mercyhurst sets out to bring issues related to alcohol to light in their alcohol awareness campaign. Over the course of the past week there were a number of informative and entertaining events to educate and empower our student body.
Paint and Sip, which was held in the Student Union on Oct. 21, was an opportunity for of age students to drink in moderation in a safe environment while honing their artistic painting capabilities. The event displayed that drinking and getting drunk do not necessarily go hand in hand.
A similar event held for those under the age of 21 was the Mocktail and Masterpiece event where students were given ‘mocktails’ (creative non-alcoholic drinks) and discussed pressing issues of binge drinking and alcoholism, while painting.
Additionally, a simulation was set up on Oct. 23 in Ryan Hall for Lakers to experience drunkenness without actually getting drunk. This way students could better understand the consequence of their actions and the dangers of impaired judgement prior to real life experience, while having fun in a virtual reality setting.
Mercyhurst cares deeply about its students and wants to keep them safe. Some may say “ignorance is bliss,” but when ignorance leads to injury, assault or death, it is imperative to be cognizant of one’s actions.
Be wise and informed and responsible, so that none will be too impaired to seize the day.