Learning from Mistakes with Alcohol

By , Denver, CO
Early August I made a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life. In my past I have made many good decisions and learned from many poor ones. This paper will discuss what I learned and the impacts it has had on my life.

The circumstances of my MIP could have easily been avoided using common sense. I got my MIP by urinating in public. Through this experience I’ve learned many lessons. The first is that Boulder police’s primary concern is watching out for the publics’ safety. I learned this when I realized that as long as someone is not making a fool of themselves by falling all over the place, drinking alcohol in a public place, or in my situation peeing in public the police will leave you alone. I have found that, although it is against the law, having one or two beers and then casually walking home and not causing a scene, will generally not cause a problem. However, having eight or nine beers in a short period of time can lead to causing a scene, and creating chaotic situations. Another thing I learned was the importance of alcohol classes. Initially I went to the class expecting a “don’t drink,” “alcohol is bad,” “you are underage” kind of course. However, similar to the safety concerns of the police, these classes were aimed at teaching me how to be a “safer and more responsible” drinker. I learned specifically how to calculate my BAC as well what was a comfortable range of drinks to be in.

Accompanying the things I learned, I also learned the other things not to do in this situation. The first thing I would avoid is not using the facilities before I leave a party. The main reason I thought it was a good idea to pee in public is that I needed to pee, had I gone to the bathroom prior to leaving I would not be writing this paper now. The second thing I would definitely do is if I get sloppy drunk to call a sober friend or a taxi or even sleep at the party. It is so simple to just have a good buddy on speed dial or ask the host to call you a cab. I know from experience that getting into trouble isn’t worth the embarrassment of not being able to walk home.

In reflecting about my incident, I questioned why I wanted to be in college. Was I partier? Was I a workaholic? Or was I just another student that could pay tuition? I believe I was accepted into my university is because frankly I had good grades and was another in-state student that would look good on statistics. I had no idea what I wanted to be, no idea where my future lays, and no idea of who I am right now. I believe that part of the college experience is finding out who you are and bonding with people along the way. Sure drinking plays a crucial part and socializing but it also can be detrimental. I believe that my purpose as well as the purpose of the general student population is to experiment and I find out who you are, the key is that you don’t want to lose the traits you were born with trying to be something else. Many people believe that drinking is just something to do to have sex or to make talking easier or to be a braver person, unfortunately that’s not how it works. Drinking can have serious consequences and can affect how people behave and act both drunk and sober.

It is also important to consider the consequences of the situation as well as the potential impact it has on society. As a student, getting an MIP reflects poorly on a school, and even worse for any small clubs or groups they are a part of it. Unfortunately these impacts aren’t something that just go away, in fact many of them lead to stronger and more dangerous situations. Many people have claimed that alcohol isn’t a gateway drug and doesn’t have addictive qualities, however more and more studies are coming out showing the negative effects’ drinking has on people who begin drinking earlier in life. The majority of consequences from drinking are future impacts and thus cause situations not only now but in the future. It is strange to imagination that some of the choices I make now will limit my opportunities for the future.

After going through my alcohol education class and MIP I’ve began to realize how important we, as students, are to the community. Students like us are the future of the country, we have to learn to take responsibility and learn from our mistakes. The police do what they do not only to keep us safe but to show that we do have responsibility, similar to our college experiences our social experiences are also opportunities for learning and growth. We have a responsibility to our community to do our best and take advantage of the situations and potential we have.

In conclusion, I have realized how much I have changed as a result of my minor in possession charge. I realized that it is important to know your limit, it is important to know when you’ve crossed the line and it is important to understand responsibility and accept consequences. In fact if you have not learnt anything from this essay I would like you to remember just this, the most important thing I’ve learned from college so far is that if you do screw up and get in trouble, to realize that it happens, take responsibility, make an effort to fix it, and then don’t do it again.





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