"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- The Dalai Lama

Monday, September 20, 2004

A Little Sad

Two young kids, one from Colorado State University and one from my school CU Boulder, died recently. In each case the mostly likely cause of death was alcohol poisoning. The girl from CSU apparently drank the equivalent of 40 beers in 11 hours. She reportedly posted on her blog that day that she was going to "get extremely wasted" (or wording very similar) that night.

The boy was a frat pledge at my school who had just won a spot on the lacrosse team and supposedly told his mother earlier that the day had been one of the best of his life.

The alcohol culture at my school is extremely pervasive. I think it is incredibly scary and sad when 18 and 19 year olds feel like they have to apologize for not drinking. I think it is pathetic that the kids that come to class on Fridays with hangovers are seen as "cool." Yeah, yeah, it's all part of the "college experience." But why? Why does drinking necessarily have to be a part of every young person's life?

Maybe some of the young people on these campuses will have that realization where they think, "It could have been me!" and have one less shot of tequila or 5 less beers next time. Maybe.

1 comment:

DeniseUMLaw said...

Oh, that is really sad. I know this is easier to say than to put into practice, but kids *don't* have to drink to excess and they *don't* have to apologize for it. It's all about finding one's identity and being true to that. If that includes alcohol, fine. But, being responsible is part of what learning to handle oneself out in the world is all about.

I am in a top 10 law school. Theoretically, my classmates, having gotten through at least undergrad and attained the median age of 24, should have backed off the binge drinking thing somewhat. The answer to that would be no. It is still a fundamental part of the culture. Nearly every activity is organized around the use (or abuse) of this particular drug. But, there are still those persons who do not drink, or do not drink to excess and they are not shunned or made to feel wrong (at least in my observation and experience).

I don't know what else I can say. It is so sad and it's so senseless and it is such a horrible waste and just imagine what it's done to their parents, family and friends. I hope this gets lots of attention and at least some people learn from their deaths.

I went to CU for my graduate degree, btw.