Colleges Declaring War on YOLO


“I told my parents what I was doing, and they were like, ‘YOLO,’ ” he said with a laugh.

There’s lots of ways to tell if a phrase is ‘over’ but I can’t think of a better one right now. In response to students imbibing ever greater amounts of alcohol while mixing it with caffeine and anti-depressants in an effort to dull the pain of living in a youth oriented utopia, colleges are trying to figure out how to focus in on students for whom drinking truly is a risk to their well being and education. They’re trying to address the increasing numbers of students who drink until they’re blackout drunk or “white boy wasted,” whichever term you prefer.

The scholarly standard for “too much” was long ago set at five drinks or more at least once in a two-week period. For three decades, that national binge drinking rate has hovered around 40 percent.

But college officials — the ones tasked with making sure students don’t hurt themselves or others — aren’t necessarily worried about the bulk of those students. They are concerned about the students who go out every night of the week or have dozens of drinks each month, those who occasionally drink heavily but with a lower tolerance. They worry about the black-out drunks. The violent drunks. Those who turn to alcohol and drugs instead of seeking counseling.

While studies like this on alcohol are always a little funny to read because of the inherent hand wringing over the topic I will say that all the alcoholics I know became alcoholics in college, joked about it as if it weren’t true through their early twenties, and then had breakdowns in their late twenties or early thirties, so, y’know it’s a real concern especially with YOLO being thrown at everyone all the time like it’s a standard to be lived up to for a “real” college experience.

Schools across the country have tried to combat this phenomenon by breaking down drinking traditions and busting parties but they usually just move off campus which, in the case of booze fueled assaults and not just booze fueled sleeping, is far far worse for the victims given the lack of supervision. To combat this sort of drunken life ruining, schools have tried to increasingly educate their students about alcohol and in some cases it’s been effective. As expected, in other cases it’s been almost completely ineffective.

Most interesting stat?

In high school, college-bound students are less likely to drink than students who don’t plan to continue their education. But during freshman year, students who already drink start to drink more, and students who never drank are likely to start. The drinking rates of those people in college are much higher than those not enrolled.

Not exactly easy to get drunk every night when you actually have to show up and work every day or be out on the street.

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