Being a college student living on campus I overhear snippets from many conversations between people roughly my age as I walk (or in many cases run) from class to class, or go to one of the local cafe's to catch a lite lunch. Most of these conversations take me back to the days of middle school, where every slight was a death threat and every relationship was prophesied to last forever right up until the moment it imploded. But there are some parts of conversations I've heard that disturb me, and I will be writing about one of them in this post.
Several times over the course of my college experience I have heard friends talking and one friend say to the other "What did you do yesterday?"
And their friend would reply, "I drank at Steve So-and-so's house, it was a blast." When I heard that the first time it deeply disturbed me. Not because of the alcohol use, I may go into my opinions on that subject when something in the world has suitably drawn my ire. The part that disturbed me was that drinking was the activity this person engaged in. They didn't drink and watch sports, or drink and hit clubs, they drank, period.
As I'm given to understand, drinking is often done to make other activities seem more enjoyable, but if that's the case, then why does it seem like more and more people see what comes after drinking as a secondary activity and the consumption of alcohol as the main activity? It unnerved me to think that some people would devote entire days solely to the pursuit of alcohol, and that the culture that surrounded them would not only condone it, but encourage it.
It's 2013, by this point in human history it's no secret that alcohol is a substance that can be overused and exactly what consequences that overuse will bring, yet it remains something of an open secret, that everybody knows but no one is willing to say out loud. After all, it would be quite the faux pas to lecture people at a party about the dangers of overindulging their alcohol habit, one severe enough to get a person thrown out on their ass if they aren't careful. Still, this culture of silence, especially in youth settings, can lead to a lot of wild nights, and a lot of loud and painful mornings.
Granted, I do not claim to be the sole authority on moral values or what can and cannot be placed into the bodies of others. Still, I often find myself thinking things like, "How much longer will this type of culture be able to sustain itself?" Or "There but for the grace of my uncommon sense go I." And if that comes off as a little judgmental, that's probably because it is. I may have no right to interfere in the lives of strangers, but that doesn't mean I can't judge them for their actions.
For those invisible people or perhaps myself in the future who may one day be reading this post, I pose this question: How would your world change if alcohol had never existed?