“I can go to war but I can’t drink a beer”. We’ve all heard this saying before, usually from a high school student who just turned 18 years old. But the people that say this have a point. It seems there is actually more damage being done with the drinking age being 21 in the United States than it would be at a lower drinking age. With the combination of students getting arrested, to others getting in serious danger because of binge drinking, I feel like the drinking age would be better for all if it was set to a younger age.

Here’s why…

There’s no surprise that college students drink underage, this is nothing new. However, there is a huge problem with this. Being a college student myself, I have seen countless amount of other people acting idiotic or even getting sick from drinking too much alcohol. I have witnessed some people even go to the hospital because of it. Now you may of read that thinking it was directly towards 18-20 year old college kids, but if I am going to be honest, I’ve seen extreme drunk actions just as much or even more with people of the drinking age. 21 years old is still YOUNG. Most 21 year old’s are still in college and act like they are still in college.

The Statistics

I actually conducted an anonymous survey with 12 college students under the age of 21 asking why do you drink? I gave them 4 options, the first one being “it’s rebellious which makes it fun”. The second one being “I like the taste of alcohol”. The third being “I feel pure pressured”. Then the final one was, “I like getting drunk”. I gave everyone a week to get back to me and the results aren’t too surprising. Out of the 12 responses, nobody picked the second or third option. 3 people said “I like getting drunk” and 9 people said “it’s rebellious”. Yeah, 9 people… That’s 75% of the people that took part of this survey. But you may ask what was the point of this? Well it’s quite simple. Just from this small sample size we can see that people like drinking for the thrill (that meaning it’s exciting to do something illegal). This could mostly lead to binge drinking which ends up in dangerous situations when drinking alcohol. If we lower the drinking age… This could teach young adults to drink responsibly and make it where drinking alcohol isn’t just for getting drunk. Parents or educators really never teach their children about the safe ways to drink because they usually don’t want their children drinking alcohol in the first place. However, if the drinking age was lowered, it can help college students make it a normal thing to have a glass of wine or a beer at dinner with family instead of just drinking out at a party and only drink it because it is “rebellious”.

a) it’s rebellious which makes it funb) I like the taste of alcoholc) I feel pure pressuredd) I like getting drunkTotal
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Graph of the anonymous survey on the question “why do you drink alcohol”?

My personal experiences…

“You American’s only like to blackout, you guys are crazy!”

When I was 19, I went to Toronto, Canada which of bunch of friends to go visit the city, go to a Toronto Raptors game, and to just see the country itself. The drinking age in Toronto is 19 years old, a 2 year difference than the minimum drinking age of 21 here in the states. So my friends and I would go out and drink alcohol basically wherever we would go, whether that is out to eat, at the Raptors game, and even at the bars in Canada because it was legal for all of us to do so. But we really noticed something a lot different in Toronto than what we usually see in the states. Nobody was really acting crazy, bouncing off of walls, or even being idiots with the alcohol intake. This really shocked us because we weren’t really used to people drinking not to get drunk. I decided to ask a local about this and once I told him I was from America, he actually laughed and said “you Americans only like to blackout, you guys are crazy!” So we began talking about the drinking age in Toronto so I asked “why are Canadians so much more calmer when it comes to drinking alcohol?” His response was very simple, “we are use to drinking, it’s not like we drink just to get as drunk as possible, Canadians are accustomed to drinking at the dinner table at a younger age, making it not the biggest deal when it came to when we can legally go out and drink on our own”. It honestly didn’t shock me because that’s how I have always felt about the subject and somebody that was accustomed to it told me straight to my face…

My final thoughts…

I said constantly that I believe that the drinking age should be lowered. But I never said exactly what age it should be… I believe that the drinking age should be lowered to 18 years old with a catch. I think if you are with a legal guardian, you can drink out in public legally. This gives the 18 year old a chance to really getting accustomed to drinking alcohol and learning how to drink responsibly with a parent instead of just hearing from somebody that “you drink to get blacked out”. With that said, I think at the age of 19 years old a person should be able to purchase and drink alcohol by themselves because they really got use to it being a normal thing at the age of the 18. Think about it this way… You don’t get your adult drivers licenses right away… You being with a learners permit for a year and drive with a parent, now connect the 2 scenarios here… Drink responsibly.