Guest Blogger: Mike Rivera

Finally 21?

Once we become aware of the drinking age and starting drinking and playing pong with our High school friends, we begin to beg for time to pass just so we can turn 21. From fake id’s to having older people buy us beer, we have done it all just to get our hands on a 30 rack of our favorite beer, but now I am 21 and no longer need a fake or other people to buy me my favorite beer. Is 21 everything I expected it to be? Yes it has at least in regards to drink right?. After i sobered up, it hit me turning 21 is officially becoming an adult full of responsibilities and the real world has finally come into focus.

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12 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Mike Rivera

  1. Stepehn Raulli says:

    There’s the whole debate over whether or not the drinking age should be lowered; I don’t drink myself but I say, why not? Lowering the age won’t curb underage drinking. We’re humans; the moment we are born, it’s like an instinct to have what is forbidden. Your mom tells you not to go in the woods, and what do you do? It’s the fact that we can’t have it is what compels underage kids to drink. Lower the age to 18, and kids younger than that will drink. Because there’s so much hype built around alcohol, when people finally turn 21 they see how anti-climatic it is.

  2. The RG Spot says:

    hahah yes 21 sounds very fun as I still am a few months away but once I turn 21 will going out and getting “hammered” be as much fun? That is the real question. It seems as if 21 does bring some serious responsibilities and now you have to watch yourself and who you are around as you are legally getting your drink on. But in college I don’t think 21 means much. Everyone who wants to can drink, most everyone has a fake id that honestly for the most part looks like shit and I have no clue how people accept it anywhere. Getting a hold of booze is not a very big problem, even going to bars isn’t difficult. But in college 21 means you won’t ever get turned down at the bar or store because there’s a new person working the door that night or for whatever other reason. 21 at college means that you can rage harder and longer than ever and yes you will suffer harder and longer than ever the next day and also in your bank account. However, I can’t wait til’ that birthday.

  3. This weekend I turned 20, so I’m still a year away. And with this post, the whole drinking age debate is obviously going to come up. Like Stephen, I think the drinking age should be lowered to 18. At 18, you can buy cigarettes (and other things, lol), you can vote, you can enlist in the army, so why can’t you drink? Although you can do a lot of things once you turn 18, I really won’t feel like a true adult until I’m 21. I guess I’m in that awkward no-longer-a-teenagers-but-not-21 phase.

    I had an interesting drinking-related incident two weekends ago. It was Saturday night, and my roommates and I were sitting in our common room, watching the Duke-Clemson game and Sex and the City. (The best of both worlds.) My roommates are 21 and therefore upperclassmen, and they were enjoying a glass of wine during the game. I wasn’t drinking. All of a sudden, security came into our room, without a noise complaint or probable cause or anything like that, and proceeded to write all of us up for “drinking [in our own common room] in front of a minor.” It was a very frustrating situation.

    I think Stephen has a valid point—by lowering the drinking age to 18, kids younger than that will definitely drink. Drinking as a teenager is all too common. While I was in high school, I remember several girls being taken to the hospital during a dance to have their stomachs pumped. Clearly, the current drinking age didn’t stop them, so I think a lower age wouldn’t change their thinking. The 21 year-old rule doesn’t stop 18 year-olds from drinking, so I think a hypothetical 18-year-old rule wouldn’t stop 16 year-olds from consuming.

    Overall, I think everyone – regardless of their age – needs to know how to drink responsibly. If a 16 or 17 year-old can learn their limit in a safe environment (like at home, with their parents), I have no problem with that. But raging at a high school dance? Really? You’re going to look and act like a hot mess and inevitably get in trouble.

  4. Becky says:

    I also think the drinking age should be lowered to 18. If 18 is the age in which we leave home and head out to the workforce or college why shouldn’t we be abled to drink an alcoholic beverage? I also don’t understand how we are able to register to vote for political office positions when we are years away from being able to purchase or drink alcohol. It is also interesting to think of how many college students under the age of 21 are drinking because this is what you see all over college campuses. So instead of helping by keeping the age at 21, more people are ignoring the law in many ways by having people buy them alcohol and drinking alcohol, or having a fake ID.

  5. Grace B says:

    Among the many other wonderful things that Ronald Reagan did during his presidency, mandating that all states raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 has to be one of the most frustrating for our generation. It’s a great example of how history is elliptical, not linear. We progress then we regress, regress then progress. It’s a never-ending cycle. It’s hard to imagine that our parents grew up in a time when they could legally purchase and consume alcohol at 18.
    I feel that having 21 as the legal drinking age is in a way, an agent for infantilizing young adults. It’s a way of creating yet another drawn out rite of passage in a society that already has too many. At 18 we are responsible enough to own firearms, to marry, to fight for our country, and to be tried in court as an adult. We are responsible enough to vote and drive and smoke and curse, and to live on our own and be financially independent yet by law we are deemed not responsible enough to buy a bottle of wine to share in good company. This to me is a baffling concept.
    I understand that these measures were taken as a way of protecting the welfare of America’s youth. In the 70’s and 80’s there were extremely high rates of teenage drunk driving accidents, and raising the age to 21 helped rid alcohol from high schools. However, even today, years after the laws changed, teenage drunk driving remains a huge problem, and I know at least in my high school there was rampant consumption of drugs and alcohol. I believe that America’s youth’s problem with alcohol is not correlated with age, it’s instead a result of our skewed philosophy on drinking. In Europe where the drinking ages range from 14 to 18 and are rarely enforced, there is a keen sense of respect for alcohol and people don’t drink it in such excess. It is accepted as a way of life as well as a simple pleasure, and people don’t abuse it to the extent that Americans do. I think that our culture’s stigmatization around alcohol is what breeds our sometimes fatal misuse. I think that lowering the drinking age back to 18 would be in everyones best interest. Until then, I’m counting the days to my 21st birthday.

  6. Sara McMenimen says:

    This issue of the drinking age is definitely at the center of my social life at this point in time. Since this is the year that all the 1989 babies are turning 21, it is my year to turn 21. Most of my friends are either already 21 because they were born in 1988 or they’re only a few months away from the big day. I on the other hand will not be of age until November; more than halfway through my senior year of college. When I entered kindergarten you had to be 5 by December 31st so I made the cutoff making me young for my grade. Growing up I was always pretty mature for my age and never really felt the sometimes one year age difference between my classmates and I. I first started to notice this at age 16 when all my friends were driving and I had almost another year to go. From there out there have been little things that you don’t think of, but that I couldn’t always do. Like an 18 and older concert I couldn’t go to because I was still 17 and other little things like that.

    The most prominent of these things is absolutely the drinking age. With most of my friends being 21, I have noticed that people tend to go one of two ways. They have either started drinking everyday just “because I can” or they don’t go out and drink as hard because the fun of getting away with it is gone. There is no real middle ground between these two. They have all changed simply because of a number. I believe that the drinking age should be lowered to 18. Since we can die for our country at 18 shouldn’t we be able to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer? While many argue that we’re not mature enough at 18 to handle the responsibility of drinking alcohol, I think the stigma of getting away with drinking alcohol would be removed if the drinking age was lower.

  7. Mac Swenson says:

    I’m 20 years old myself, and for most if not all of my time in high school I couldn’t wait to be 21. It just seemed to me that when you turned 21 you had sort of passed all the tests and now you could drink. But as I get closer and closer to being 21, it really doesn’t seem all that special like others above me have mentioned.

    Alcohol was never hard to come by in high school. In college it has been even easier. But at the same time, having constant access to it made it a little less appealing at times. In high school, getting a few cases of beer was huge news, and everybody was going to drink as much as they could because, well, who knew if it was going to be that easy next weekend.

    I can’t say what it would be like if the drinking age were to be lowered to 18. It could very easily be chaos all over the place with 16 and 17 year olds going crazy, but I think there is a good chance that like many people who turn 21, younger kids would realize the same thing pretty quickly.

  8. Amaury Ramirez says:

    Debate of the decade

    Ah! The debate that interest all college students, the most interesting debate I’ve ever been a part of. Students argue that the law not allowing them to get alcoholic beverages until the age of 21 is ludicrous because 18 year olds are allowed to go the armed forces and protect the country. Is our government saying 18 your olds are mature/ old enough to protect this glorious nation, but isn’t old enough to drink responsibility? Absurd?

    Cigarettes are worst than alcohol, I mean everything in excess is bad so what makes alcohol such a thing that needs an age to be put on it? I think parents should have the right to say if their child is allowed to have alcohol. Since there is an age on alcohol, it becomes the same like the forbidden fruit. And as history would tell, we must have it. Therefore I think alcohol was legalized to 18 and over, college students wouldn’t go crazy about alcohol. It wouldn’t be a big deal.

    If the argument that students brains are still developing and therefore alcohol could damage that then the drinking age should be raised to age 25. Since that is when the brain completely stops developing. What makes 21 the age that you become mature enough to drink responsible? Many 21 year olds are much more immature than those who are younger. Trust me!

    I had to reply to this blog since it was Michael’s guest appearance. Once one gets to the age of 21, yea you can drink, you are basically a grown up and the real word is steps away. So for me, turning 21 will be scary, very scary.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The drinking age at age 21 just does not make sense! Can you really go fight in a war and risk your life for your country and not be able to have a drink! And the part that really does not make sense to me is that the people who decided to change the law all decided that this is the way it should be, after they had been able to drink at age 18. It almost seems kind of hypocritical, because I’m quite sure that they were out enjoying a drink at 18.

    Also, does it really seem like the law is working? I would say no. You could even argue that new unsafe habits have developed that were even worse than before. For example, binge drinking in college as well as high school is often developed because they are not able to have a drink before they go out. Many times, teenagers will drink high amounts of alcohol before they leave to go somewhere such as a party or other type of social event because they are not able to enjoy a drink there. So instead of having a few drinks at the event, they drink enough to stay drunk for sometimes four hours. This leads people consume dangerous amounts of alcohol. I feel that if there was not such a ban on alcohol, teenagers would drink much more responsibly.

    Also, you have to think about the fact that if it was not forbidden, people would not feel like it was such a big deal to drink. Come on people, if it was not forbidden, would they have had to take measures as extreme as breathalizing every person as they entered my high school prom. If the age were lowered, people would be much less likely to rebel and they would be much more responsible with their drinking.

    Lastly, because the law has not stopped people from drinking, it would make the situation for getting alcohol much better. Many teenagers receive alcohol by paying someone who is of age to buy it for them or by having a fake id, so if this law were to be taken away, then people would to run the risk of being arrested for buying alcohol for minors or for having a fake ID.

    Overall, it would make the college experience much safer. Also, it would be easier on law enforcement because they would not have to concern themselves so much with the problem of underage drinking. Instead they could focus their attention on other crimes that actually matter.

  10. The drinking age at age 21 just does not make sense! Can you really go fight in a war and risk your life for your country and not be able to have a drink! And the part that really does not make sense to me is that the people who decided to change the law all decided that this is the way it should be, after they had been able to drink at age 18. It almost seems kind of hypocritical, because I’m quite sure that they were out enjoying a drink at 18.

    Also, does it really seem like the law is working? I would say no. You could even argue that new unsafe habits have developed that were even worse than before. For example, binge drinking in college as well as high school is often developed because they are not able to have a drink before they go out. Many times, teenagers will drink high amounts of alcohol before they leave to go somewhere such as a party or other type of social event because they are not able to enjoy a drink there. So instead of having a few drinks at the event, they drink enough to stay drunk for sometimes four hours. This leads people consume dangerous amounts of alcohol. I feel that if there was not such a ban on alcohol, teenagers would drink much more responsibly.

    Also, you have to think about the fact that if it was not forbidden, people would not feel like it was such a big deal to drink. Come on people, if it was not forbidden, would they have had to take measures as extreme as breathalizing every person as they entered my high school prom. If the age were lowered, people would be much less likely to rebel and they would be much more responsible with their drinking.

    Lastly, because the law has not stopped people from drinking, it would make the situation for getting alcohol much better. Many teenagers receive alcohol by paying someone who is of age to buy it for them or by having a fake id, so if this law were to be taken away, then people would to run the risk of being arrested for buying alcohol for minors or for having a fake ID.

    Overall, it would make the college experience much safer. Also, it would be easier on law enforcement because they would not have to concern themselves so much with the problem of underage drinking. Instead they could focus their attention on other crimes that actually matter.

  11. Isaias says:

    I had a debate class about the drinking age…. now, I can give you a million examples of why it is better to have the drinking age lowered but, i’m only gonna give yall 1. in other countries, the drinking age is as low as 16. with this being said, there isn’t a sense of pressure from the other kids to drink because it isn’t “rebellious.” We enter high school at the age of 14 and are already pressured by society and peers around us. the “cool” thing to the high school student in the united states is to get “hammered.”

    if the drinking age were to be lowered, the teens wouldn’t feel a sense of pressure because EVERYONE is allowed to do it. when students reach college, we see how the freedom gets to their head and instantly want to drink to have a great time. Teens drink to be rebellious, cool, and to live in the moment.

  12. I do not drink, myself. I have a very addictive personality so won’t even touch a drink or cigarette. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out, and it depresses the hell out of me I can’t be a “normal” collge kid. When anyone hears I don’t drink, no matter if they’re my age or older, they say it’s a good thing. First, it makes me wonder if it’s so good, then why do they drink? But, there is a whole culture in drinking, and I’m missing out. Someone once told me they used to not invite me places because there would be drinking. I cleared it up–drinking does not bother me. Try to pressure me and you’ll piss me off.

    Still, I live with the ‘what if.’ Drinking has been so glamorized in television and movies when in college. You overhear how much fun people have at parties and you wonder, is it because of alcohol?

    From a young age, drinking is an unattainable goal. A right, not just a privilege. Like 16, 21 is a canonical age. But, when it comes, what’s the big deal? Drinking is overhyped. That’s why I support lowering the drinking age. It’s unfair to groom people to aspire to the lure of alcohol, but give them college freedom 3 years before. if freshmen were allowed to drink, maybe there would be less ambulances and blackouts and more safety. By saying to a freshman, ‘here’s your freedom but you can’t do what 90% of the campus is doing’ is irresponsible.

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