The CDC came out with data a couple years ago that reported Fort Collins as the fourth highest city in the U.S. for binge and heavy drinking. Since this is a city predominated by college students, there are far too many people underwhelmed by this statistic.
College is known as being the time for experimentation; this is the time in our lives when we are supposed to “sow our wild oats” before we have to do the whole settling down track. This can be the time of our lives.
We are just dipping our feet into the pool of responsibility and testing the waters. There are very few young adults at this stage in their education that are completely on their own- many are receiving some kind of assistance from either their parents or the government, whether that be full tuition or a helping hand on bills every once and a while.
And since we haven’t yet gotten lost in the tsunami of bills and taxes and co-pays, since we still have quite a bit of freedom to do as we please whenever the mood strikes, we take up hobbies.
A very popular hobby here in the Fort happens to be drinking — in incredible excess. I cannot count the number of times that I have sat next to someone in class that smelled so strongly of whiskey that I was surprised they were standing; I have heard people on the plaza talk of how hungover they were that they were surprised they even got up in time for the one reason they’re here in the first place: class.
While this is certainly not true for everyone, there are a vast majority of people on CSU’s campus that have lost sight of the reason that they are enrolled in the University. They are not here to drink, to smoke, or to be as crazy as they can be without getting reprimands too severe.
People, you are here to get an education. You are here so that when you are expected to get up to go to work every morning and provide for not only yourself, but for a possible family as well, you have a degree to hang up on your wall to tell others that you might actually know what you’re talking about.
You are not here just to drink or to “sow your wild oats.” You are here to go to class and to study; if that holds no interest to you then you can find less expensive parties.
26.4 percent of residents in Fort Collins and Loveland attested to having five or more drinks over a two hour period for men and four or more for women, according to the Coloradoan in an article entitled “Fort Collins No. 4 on heaviest drinking cities list.” And yet, when many people hear that, they’re quick to excuse that startling percentage by saying, “well that makes sense — it’s a town of college students.”
Student and binge-drinker are not mutually inclusive terms; one can exist without the other.
I enjoy a good drink every now and then; I am of legal age and responsible enough to know my limits. But this is my third year at CSU, and I never — not once — have shown up to class either drunk or hungover. I don’t understand the appeal in getting so drunk that you can barely stand; those that do look and sound similar to that of a ridiculously overgrown infant.
But, myself and others like me, who don’t relish hugging a toilet seat on a weeknight, are outnumbered by those that will drink to excess whenever something with alcohol content above four percent is placed in front of them.
And I am done excusing that behavior by saying that a person is a student.
A student is supposed to be described as having an incredible work ethic, someone that is working hard towards a degree to further them along a career path. A student is not supposed to be described as the bar-brawler looking for a fight, or the girl with her dress rucked up around her waist and mascara halfway down her cheeks trying to explain that she’s just fine to drive.
Hearing that this city is nearing 30 percent of residents reporting heaving and binge drinking needs to shock more people. And more students need to take charge and understand that they are here for an education, not so that they can spend tens of thousands of dollars to only learn that beer before liquor, never sicker.
People are largely underwhelmed by binge drinking statistics in Fort Collins, and that needs to stop
We are all students, here to study, not to show up everywhere either drunk or hungover
Put down the shot glass and focus on your education first