October 25, 2006
Sudden freedom from parents brings even more access to alcohol
Each fall, universities and colleges across the country welcome a new batch of first-year students. And at this time, amidst choosing between "Human Anatomy 101" and "Introduction to Economics," or which fraternity party to attend, college freshmen will face choices involving a substance with an arguably ubiquitous presence on college campuses nationwide: alcohol.
Some students may choose to stay away from alcohol, while others may decide to dabble. Other students may choose to engage in activities like funneling and binge drinking or drinking games like beer pong and flip cups.
Making decisions about alcohol can be crucial in a student’s first year. According to a 2002 college task force report to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, some first-year students are among those who drink the most in college.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests the first six weeks of the first semester are crucial to freshmen academic success, according to the NIAAA report. And because the early part of freshman year is when many students engage in heavy drinking, it may interfere with successful adaptation to campus life, the report read. About one-third of first-year students fail to enroll for their second year.