Teen Drinking: High School vs. College


“Good Game” obtained through Creative Commons. Photo taken by Guian Bolisay.

Kate Ridoux

It’s no secret that underage drinking occurs globally. In a recent survey of 256 CHS students on Oct. 17, 80 percent of students report that they believe most people start drinking in high school, 12 percent think that drinking begins in college and less than 1 percent believe that most people start drinking at the legal age of 21.

Senior Julianna Belas of Monmouth Beach said high schoolers who consume alcohol are looked down upon more than under-aged college students that do. She said this is because college students are trusted to make their own decisions, whereas high school students are still living at home.

“When you’re in college you’re mixed with older people who can legally drink. People are left to make their own decisions in college where as in high school they are still under their parents’ control,” Belas said.

One CHS sophomore, who preferred to remain anonymous, said drinking in college has become the norm because there is less chance of getting arrested.

“My older brother once told me that college parties rarely get busted because they can’t tell who is 21 and who isn’t, whereas at a high school party, they know everyone is under 21. That’s probably part of the reason high school drinking is seen as such a risky activity,” the student said.

An anonymous CHS junior asserted that learning your limits in high school while you’re surrounded by people you trust is an important step in order to prevent poor decisions in the future, especially at college.

“I think that if people start drinking before college, they will be able to understand their limits in a more safe environment rather than being away at college and not knowing their limits. Then, once they reach college, they will understand their relationship with alcohol and be better equipped to handle everything that comes with drinking,” the student said.