Currently, the United States seems to be one of the countries that have one of the highest drinking age limits. The current legal drinking age is set to 21 although this is a wise move for some the advocates and conservative people, it is, however, not as consistent as it turns out. Whatever good thing that was presupposed by several authorities before regarding the drinking age, it seems that the ones who are being affected seem to think otherwise.
Today, the drinking binges that 18-year old college students experience are not only an indication that students will continually go out of their way to be able to purchase alcohol but it is also means that the legal drinking age should be changed and reverted back to 18 years old (Hanson, David). There are several United States citizens who strongly disagree with the age limit of 21 as the legal drinking age most because it is quite inconsistent when one ponders about it. A citizen of the United States is given the chance to vote for his president when he turns 18 years old.
That same citizen, if male, may also be forced to join the Selective Service with the possibility that they might get drafted. This same 18-year-old United States citizen will also be inclined to jury duty if the opportunity arises. This means that a United States citizen can have a hand in determining the outcome of another person’s natural born life, can wield a gun and go to war and can vote for who will rule his country and yet he is unable to purchase and consume alcohol. If the argument was to begin with this illustration, it would seem that there is something amiss here (Hanson, David).
The government can work hand-in-hand with other agencies and help a lot in monitoring the drinking habits of young children. For the legal drinking age to be set to 21, it is quite problematic for different universities and colleges because the students tend to purposefully hide the drinking of alcohol. However, if these people were given the liberty to drink alcohol, it would benefit the colleges and universities altogether. If the purchase and consumption of alcohol within universities would be allowed for students who are at least 18 years old, these colleges and universities would have an easier time regulating alcohol.
This will then result in a better monitoring of alcohol use since the university will not have to worry about 19-year-olds posing as legal adults just to be able to purchase alcohol. This step is also hypothesized to cut down the alcohol-related deaths in colleges and universities since there will be a more accurate count of alcohol use within the school premises (Lower the U. S. Legal Drinking). Another idea that reinforces this decision to lower the legal drinking age to 18 is that everyone is encouraged to “drink responsibly” but obviously the American government has curtailed that freedom and opportunity.
For those people who sincerely want to drink responsibly and exercise this wonderful freedom of being able to enjoy the benefits of alcohol, that freedom has been stifled by the current drinking age limit. There have been several well-respected authorities of schools who believe that the age limit has actually done more harm than good. “The 21-year drinking age has not reduced drinking on campuses, it has probably increased it,” says Middlebury president John McCardell. “Society expects us to graduate students who have been educated to drink responsibly.
But society has severely circumscribed our ability to do that. ” Apparently, the idea that the legal drinking age is not at all beneficial to both students and college authorities holds a lot of water. This particular sentiment of Middlebury president McCardell has been echoed by other school authorities like Dartmouth College president, James Wright. “If there were an 18- or 19-year-old drinking age, we could address the issues more favorably,” says Dartmouth College President James Wright. As it is, “we can’t go around sniffing students’ breath or smelling their cups.
” Despite their complaints, college heads have been disinclined to make a public case for lowering the drinking age, knowing how controversial that would be. “(Hanson, David). Drinking as a Form of Socialization What is more important to consider is that alcohol consumption is valued among teenagers and college students because it is one of their forms of socialization. Because the drinking age has been shifted to 21, reactance motivation has started with some of these collegians as more underage drinkers have been stimulated to drink more. Dr. Ruth Engs and Ph.
D. David Hanson gathered several data from more than 3,000 students from 56 different colleges and universities and it turns out that after the legislation of the current drinking age, more underage students drank compared to those of legal age. This means that the increase of purchase age of alcohol has not only been ineffective but it actually has been counter-productive for its own purpose (Lower the U. S. Legal Drinking). Stability and change are two contrasting notions, yet most people deem that they are both indispensable parts of a satisfying life.
With the legislation of drinking age at 21, the person would have been more mature and capable of deciding well on his future goals. All through our life, we are honed to discover our own niche, so that in the end we’ll have a stable life. We go to school for almost two decades, then we enter work and ascend the corporate ladder. All the while, staying in groove seems like the only way to success—and eventually, to freedom. For many, working hard enough has become both the means and the end; the groove has become the core of everyday existence.
Staying there need not require one to go out on drinking sprees and get intoxicated. Sometimes, though, there comes a point, however, when our mind flirts with the notion of simply running away from everything, doing things differently, and finally, becoming the “real me. ” Staying in the groove for too long–too much stability– kills the fire in us, until that innate human desire to wander and to conquer new grounds scream for recognition in the form of boredom and restlessness. The hard drinks are not the answer to life’s problems.
Staying in the groove equips young people for survival, not the bottle of hard drink. Some may argue, “but what good is life when existence has become a routine, when happiness is reduced to the little time left for day-offs and seasonal vacation? ” Many young people console themselves that they can just rediscover their passions and revel in their freedom. Why do we have to endure a fixed and monotonous practice that has long caused us boredom and stagnation? Why not defeat the system and then follow the heart’s desire, without the bottle on the other hand?
Why not go through life without the hard drink, or even just to postpone it at a later age when one is capable of making more rational choices? After all, the world is full of success stories about young people who mustered the courage to leave their safe, comfortable zones and leave their old habits and vices to zero in on their studies and eventually venture into something they truly love. In her book, Road to Fulfillment, Lynn Ryder narrates the story of people who chose to traverse new paths in their lives. One example is “Jim,” a freshman in college.
He was so stressed and miserable that he asked himself, “With all the stress, I think I would just drink the days off? ” Jim was simply in the rut, until he decided to continue persevering in his studies and dream to pursue a life-long passion of building his own business. Countless stories have the same ending, as young students and individuals leave their old, stifling life to flourish in doing things that they have penchant for to begin with. They are not coerced into the bandwagon and follow what the majority says. In this way, each one will have to confront his own ruts.
Life is full of compromises, and the most important ones are the hardest to make. Clearly, this issue is quite the controversy but if the government does not do anything about it, this counter-productive behavior that is being witnessed by several college authorities and medical professionals will definitely continue. If the students are not given the chance to drink responsibly at their own pace, then they will definitely not wait for two or three more years for them to be able to fully enjoy the freedom of drinking alcohol the right way.
The legal drinking age should be lowered and at the same time, a campaign for drinking responsibly should be launched by the government. This will be able to effectively communicate the government’s trust in the people that through this specific freedom, they should also exercise prudence and caution. WORKS CITED Hanson, David. “The Legal Drinking Age Science vs. Ideology. ” Retrieved May 10, 2007 at: http://www2. potsdam. edu/hansondj/YouthIssues/1046348726. html Kogan, Marcela. “Where Happiness Lies. ” APA Monitor on Psychology.
32. 1 (2001). 5 Retrieved May 10, 2007 at: http://www. apa. org/monitor/jan01/positivepsych. html Lower the U. S. Legal Drinking Age to 18. Retrieved May 10, 2007 at: http://www. petitiononline. com/AD793/petition. html Ryder, Lynn. Road to Fulfillment: True Stories about Changing Direction and Finding Happiness. iUniverse. 2004 Retrieved May 10, 2007 at: http://books. google. com/books? vid=ISBN0595307183&id=SeuQDFLrLEoC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&ots=oS2FZJAGBt&dq=happiness+through+change&sig=WrP0MqYcFp8VH4xSkl-fFCEbnUc#PPA8,M1