drinks

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We get it, you drink. Maybe it’s because it's summer and there’s nothing better to do in Gainesville. Maybe everyone just so happened to turn 21 all around the same time in an uncanny way that makes you wonder if everyone in this town is a Gemini. Regardless, the influx of flaunting binge drinking is all the same, and people joking about being “suuuuuuch alcoholics” is lame. Whether the statement is hyperbolic or not, people who’ve dealt with alcoholism probably find these claims eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-the-head worthy. 

With Summer B fast approaching and football season not so far behind with the SEC lifting the ban of drinking in stadiums, we expect more sloppy SnapChat stories to cloud our feed. But now may be the time to check on drinking tendencies before the mayhem starts all over again. This sounds like a broken record for those deep into their college experience, but binge drinking is considered consuming multiple drinks in a two-hour time period resulting in a blood alcohol level to 0.08 or higher, which usually means four or more drinks for women and five or more for men.

College culture often lets binge drinking slide in a bid of “these are the best years of our lives- let’s drink to it while we’re young.” When framed this way, blacking out, throwing up and passing out all seem like part of the fun surrounding college life. Yes, drinking is fun. Putting your body and brain through a rollercoaster of damage every single weekend Ladies’ Night Wednesdays included? Not so fun.

There’s no need to shake a finger at our fellow students for drinking excessively. Almost everyone has done it and shaming never gets a point across. With the college experience relying on drinking heavily, it makes sense why we become victim to binge drinking. The “college experience” excuse allows for mild alcoholism not only to pass but be borderline praised. With talks of “being able to hold your liquor” and unspoken social cues, drinking is sometimes treated like another social currency.

It is healthy and useful to keep oneself in check to make sure things don’t get out of hand. We should also practice smart drinking practices now while we’re young, so we don’t regret otherwise when we’re old.

Thinking about drinking tendencies using the CAGE method  (Cutting down, Annoyance by criticism, Guilty feeling and Eye-openers) may be helpful in doing some introspection. The questions go as followed: Have you ever felt you need to cut down your drinking? Have people criticized your drinking? Have you ever felt guilty about drinking? Have you ever felt you need a drink first thing in the morning as an eye-opener to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, it may be time to either talk to someone or re-evaluate one’s drinking habits. There’s nothing wrong with holding the reins on drinking. Everyone’s liver deserves a break. And, there’s beauty in nights you (vaguely, in a healthy way) remember with the people you’ll never forget. It may feel like we are on top of the world right now, but even if you don’t believe it, our brains are still developing. Damage can still be done to that malleable little noggin of yours.

Cutting back is hard if friends push you to keep up and be on the same level of drunkenness. They may not even say anything. Humans love to fit in. It seems natural to try and match friends’ inebriation. And most of us have pushed our friends one time or another in a bid to have a great night.

So yeah, we get it, you drink. So does everyone else. No need to make a competition out of it because there’s no winners if someone’s puking all over the place, only losers who’ve had too much to drink.

The Alligator Editorial Board includes the Opinions Editor Jackie De Frietas, Editor-in-Chief Mark Stine and managing editors Hannah Beatty and Lindsey Breneman.