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The consequences of drinking

Letters to the Editor | Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Drinking is an important part of life at Notre Dame, as it is on virtually every college campus. In fact, it is so integral to the culture here that it is difficult to imagine what it would be like if no one drank. Beer and college life seem to be a match made in heaven.

What then is the problem? College students love to have a great time and alcohol just makes things even better. To this I say, “Party on!” But where should we draw the line? Should we even draw a line? College is a time of great freedom, of trial and error, of finding oneself. It’s also a time when we can do lots of things that we won’t be able to do in 10 years. While it may seem alright to get drunk 2-3 nights a week in college, once someone has a family to take care of, doing this may warrant the label “alcoholic.”

The issue is not whether one should drink or not, for this is simply a matter of personal preference. The issue is rather how a person should drink. Put simply, we must decide whether getting so drunk that one vomits, has blurry vision, and cannot remember what happened is worth the temporary pleasure it gives. One finds in life that many things give lots of pleasure, but in the end, if taken to an extreme do more harm than good. Eating lots of chocolate ice cream and watching TV all day will make you fat and lazy. Regularly visiting a prostitute would give lots of pleasure at the time too, but leave one feeling empty and perhaps with a STD.

While these may seem like extreme examples, the analogy holds true for regularly getting very drunk. It’s a hell of a lot of fun in the moment, but is it really worth the consequences?

Richard Ybarra


Morrissey Hall

April 8