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College Kids Playing Hard & Working Hard.

Updated on May 18, 2013

College kids are known for their crazy parties, binge drinking and tendencies to get carried away with alcohol. So people will probably scoff when I ask, “Is it possible to blow off steam by using alcohol when you’re going to school and work?”, and come up with a list of reasons of why not. But with recent studies and newfound light, drinking has come down to a science of working around the two with the ability to have fun. Working college students can blow off steam by using alcohol when going to school and work.

No one likes to work hard and never get to play, and if you look at the logistics of never getting to blow off steam it can lead to a number of problems, mainly revolving around stress. In fact some of the colleges with the hardest workloads, students are adapting to a ‘work hard, play hard’ lifestyle that isn’t to be reckoned with. Most of them will study for hours in work groups and then go out and party till the wee hours of the morning at least three nights a week.

A student from the Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia talks about the subject: "Work Hard, Play Harder – If sleep is of high importance to you, this is not the place for you. Plan to spend 45 hours plus doing school work each week and plan to be heavily involved in at least one extracurricular activity. AND plan to go out for at AT LEAST 3 nights a week. Everyone here is smart and driven, but EVERYONE here lets loose. Everyone works hard, AND EVERYONE plays hard." (qtd. “Alcohol and college”)

Stress from shutting yourself in and becoming a study hermit, can result in:

· Insomnia

· Poor social skills

· Depression

· Low immune system

· Inability to focus

The key to letting loose, is always knowing when TO let loose and what you can and can’t handle. In a nutshell, it’s responsibility that makes it possible. If you know you have that midterm in the morning, eat while you drink, sip… don’t chug your drink, and drink lots of water before you go to bed so you won’t have a hangover in the morning. If you are in college then you are smart enough to know that you’ll definitely fail if you don’t do your homework, so doing some research on yourself is a must when it comes to drinking responsibly. Go home and drink with a few friends, find out what alcohols affect you in different ways and how much you can tolerate.

Of course there are the common arguments of how alcohol affects working students. It can cause sleep deprivation if you get thrown off your regular sleeping pattern….true. But you can also do that by staying up late cramming for a test, or pulling a late shift at the 24 hour gas station. Alcohol can make you hung over, make you lose focus in class the next day, and if you binge drink longer than a year you actually can cause permanent damage to the brains nerve cells. Both of these statements are valid, but if you start being proactive towards not having a hangover the next day, and understand that binge drinking for long periods of time can cause decreased cognitive abilities….chances are that you won’t binge drink for long and will make water your new best friend.

According to a survey conducted by the Core Institute, most students who do drink, do so responsibly. On average, college students report they drink less than six drinks per week (qtd. “Alcohol and college”). I can vouch for them since I’ve personally come into the Bermuda triangle of work, school and play, and trust me it’s not always easy. But it’s well worth the effort of feeling that sweet relief of letting go of other responsibilities and replacing them with a few well-placed ones in your local pub.

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