Okay.. so I’ve just got back to college from meeting a few old school friends in town. Today was matriculation (the ceremony that officially accepts students into the university) and so tonight was the notorious “matricu-lash”, where people drink to celebrate this. I decided to not go out tonight for a couple of reasons, firstly I’m currrently trying to avoid drinking and secondly, my workload is so high that going out would screw up my rhythm and I’d fall really far behind.
Anyway to cut things short I just walked through Oxford City Centre, on a Saturday night around midnight completely sober. What I’ve seen has actually quite upset me. During a 5 minute walk I saw people smashing bottles, multiple people being sick, quite a lot of screaming (at other drunk people but at sober people too) etc. When I got back to college someone had passed out on the lodge floor surrounded in sick and was being cared for by a porter, while an ambulance came.
We seem to live in a society that has built up a reliance on alcohol and drugs to have a good time. Tales from other freshers seem to revolve around clubbing 4-5 times a week, keeping “chunder charts” (of how many time each flat mate has been sick”) and so many other depressingly drug/alcohol dependent ways of attempting to have fun. This is probably just going to turn out to another late night rant but this binge drinking / drug culture seems to be having really negative implications on our society. One thing I saw during freshers week was how heavily binge drinking is normalized and facilitated during freshers.
Basic conclusion to this post, yeah I completely appreciate alcohol helps you have fun and over come awkwardness as a fresher but this sense that alcohol is the only thing that provides fun and that going past your limits regularly with it (and other drugs) is acceptable worries and saddens me.