The Toll Of Teen Partying

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60% of ninth grade and more than 70% of eleventh and twelfth grade drinkers reported binge drinking in the past month. 131 arrests made during the past year for teens under age eighteen for DUI’s, 597 arrests for breaking liquor laws, and 21 arrests for drunkenness (preventunderagedrinkingnm.org, 2011). In my opinion, getting arrested or sick from binge drinking isn’t worth the small thrill of alcohol, because in the long run, way more consequences come along.

One consequence that comes with teen drinking is ending up in jail. My uncle Bob Nunez* was a constant partier when he was growing up. Since he had friends that were older than him, he always had someone buying him beer. While drunk, he would cause a lot of arguments, have the police called and end up in jail. He spent almost a full year in jail once. We had to lie to his daughter and say that he was always at work. He got out on Thanksgiving Day, and is now left with a lot of fines to pay and a lot of catching up to do. He lost his truck for DUI; he can’t have his license for two years and has to be on probation for three years. Does this sound like a consequence you want to live with? He’s my family, but I am disappointed, a point I’ll address later.

A second consequence that comes with teen drinking is stereotyping. Teens are quick to judge; we all know that. An informal poll taken at a local high school proved that teens that party with alcohol are considered losers. 45% of teens polled said their peers who don’t party are cool. To me, that seems that kids judge teens that do party. High school is probably the scariest and most judgmental place that exists. From my personal experience in high school, I’ve heard kids constantly talk down teens who do party. Judging for the smallest and biggest things is an everyday thing. To be a partier and a drinker in high school isn’t the type of view I want others to have of me at this age.

Finally, the consequence of disappointing your family comes too. For comparison, say one day you borrow something from your best friend, like her great grandmothers red ruby necklace that she’s gotten from generations before. After having it for a week, you break it and never give it back. Now you’ve broken that treasured item and broken the trust bond you and she had. The same situation can be compared to your partying habits and your parents. You tell your parents you’re going to a friend’s to stay the night. You get permission, but end up staying longer, not checking in and you partied. Your parents’ find out, and now you and your friend are in trouble. You’ve lost your parents treasured trust and love. Just as the necklace, it’s going to take a while and a lot of effort to fix it. Nothing is worth making your parents disappointed in you.

Some people may argue that even if you drink, and you’re a good driver, you’ll make it home safe. Here’s a story that changed my whole point of view. Brandon, a seventeen year old, went to a friend’s party one Saturday night. After having a few beers, Brandon left to take some of his friends home. They got home safely, but Brandon never made it home. He said he was okay to drive home after dropping off one last friend who lived less than five miles away from him. Brandon dozed off, swerved, and then smashed into a tree full speed. He lived to tell his story to millions. He had major brain injuries, and was in a coma for two and a half months. When he woke up, Brandon had forgotten every little thing he had ever learned. Before getting in the crash, Brandon’s weight was 168; after waking up from the coma, Brandon’s weight dropped to 109. Brandon said, “I drank before and it didn’t seem like any big deal, I was an athlete not some big boozer.” To me that shows that you don’t even know who you are when you drink. After Brandon fully recovered from his accident he suffered a seizure which caused him to lose everything he learned again. He was wearing his seatbelt; his story can tell us that anything can happen to us after a few beers.

When entering high school, almost every student has hopes to be invited to a high school party. We all want to fit in, but that crowd shouldn’t be the one you end up belonging to. The consequences of partying are being arrested and losing everything you’ve work for. Another consequence is being stereotyped as a partier and nothing more, or having to disappoint your parents who want nothing but the best for you. We only go to high school once, wouldn’t you want to be sober and remember it, or drunk and forget all the good memories made? I would want to tell my kids one day about these great four years, wouldn’t you?



*names have been changed.





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