An alternative to partying

With the festivities of spring break just winding down (it always seems to end too soon), students across the nation are recovering from a week filled with friends, partying and, of course, alcohol.

It is common knowledge that college campuses are rather notorious for providing an atmosphere of binge drinking, which is defined as the consumption of four to five alcoholic beverages (or more) in a single sitting.

The Harvard School of Public Health conducted their highly renowned College Alcohol Study surveying a nationally representative sample of college campuses between the years of 1993 and 2001. They discovered that approximately 44 percent of U.S. college students admit to binge drinking; this excessive level of alcohol consumption remained stable over the course of the study.

Some contest that the extreme lifestyle of partying is merely a transient phase that developing 20-somethings will eventually outgrow as they move into mature adulthood. Although this is often the case with students who take a milder approach to their recreational activities, others are not always so fortunate.

When young adults become accustomed to such an indulgent way of life, it is often difficult for them to break the habits they formulated during their college years. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of binge drinkers are 25 or older.

Thus, the practically ubiquitous issue of binge drinking is not something to be so easily dismissed, as it can lead to alcoholism and health problems later in life.

Not all students, however, participate in the stereotypical lifestyle associated with the collegiate atmosphere. Habitat for Humanity, for example, provides alternatives for students to spend their break volunteering and giving back to the community, rather than squandering their time partaking in mindless debauchery.

Even ASU, the infamous party school it is, caters to young adults who prefer to invest their time in more fulfilling ways. This past week, about 120 other students and I were given the opportunity to go with ASU’s very own Campus Crusade for Christ to Orange County, California to serve the local community and meet people’s needs.

We had an incredible time and made lifelong memories, but were still able to utilize our time to give back to the community instead of merely wasting it on fleeting moments of pleasure.

So rather than ending up with a week filled with regret — or, in extreme cases, little memory of it at all — we experienced some of the most rewarding times of our lives by pouring into others’ lives and loving them.

Of course, partying is not by necessity a contemptible activity. But if students will find more fruitful ventures in which to invest their time, they are sure to realize that this kind of frivolous lifestyle is ultimately not worthwhile.

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