Stress Binge

Student boredom results in drinking culture

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When students at other colleges ask about what attending Texas Tech is like, usually, I always have a hard time answering this question. As a student attending Tech, I really do not know what there is to do other than work, school and party. 

Lubbock being a boring city is relatively common knowledge among Tech students and is typically laughed off. Lubbock has been ranked as the most boring city in America by numerous different sites and real estate research blogs. 

According to Business Insider, out of the one hundred most populous cities in America, Lubbock ranked 73rd in arts per capita, and music venues per capita ranked 83rd. Lubbock also ranked dead last in the non-fast food restaurant category. 

The one category Lubbock did well in was nightlife, ranked at 58th. This perfectly paints the picture of the issue in Lubbock; there is such a lack of activities to do that residents and college students have turned to drinking as the main source of entertainment.

College binge drinking is not a new issue. A survey by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that “approximately 2 out of every 5 college students of all ages (more than 40 percent) reported binge drinking at least once in the 2 weeks prior.” 

Drinking culture is a large part of American college tradition, evolving into a rite of passage on many campuses. Alcohol has been deemed an essential element in social success in college life. 

This is apparent at Tech, as bars are located on Broadway Street, less than one hundred yards away from the entrance of Tech. 

With the lack of other attractions in Lubbock to hold students’ attention, many students have turned to drinking as the sole source of entertainment in a social setting. 

Drinking has become the main way students choose to relieve stress from the daily stressors of school and work. Many students find themselves going out and drinking two to three times a week. 

The lack of outdoor activities in and around Lubbock are also factors in this issue. There are outdoor facilities in Lubbock such as parks; however, they lack the quality of parks in other cities throughout Texas. This can be blamed on the natural environment in the region; however, the city has done very little to combat this. 

I can personally attest to this as I have attempted bike trails in the city. Mae Simmons Park has the only official non-paved bike trail in Lubbock. As someone who has ridden these trails, I can confidently say they are no where near standard quality. 

Despite being poorly maintained, environmental factors left me stranded two miles from the parking lot with two flat tires. I have not attempted to go biking again in Lubbock since this experience. 

The area surrounding Lubbock is not any better in providing activities for residents and students. The closest state parks, Caprock Canyon and Palo Duro Canyon, are over an hour away, inaccessible for students without vehicles. This effectively strands students in the city unless they are willing to traverse a sizeable distance. 

Students effectively being stranded in Lubbock with little to do besides attending to their schoolwork or jobs, the boredom takes over. With nothing to ease the stressors of daily life, drinking becomes the main source of entertainment. 

As drinking becomes a more common activity in the weekly routine of a student, going out to get drunk becomes less of a fun occasion and more of a coping mechanism against boredom. This can lead to increased alcohol consumption or binge drinking. 

A national survey reported that over 60 percent of full-time college students consumed alcohol, and 39 percent were reported to binge drink over the past month. However, just being drunk is not enough for some students, leading many students to look for more methods of entertainment. 

Illicit drug use is a common side effect of consistent binge drinking. The consumption of illegal and prescription drugs among college students has become all too common. 

This is attributed to college drinking culture and has become a greater threat to the health of students. Polydrug use combined with alcohol poses a massive threat to the health of college students. 

The effects on physical health from this activity are detrimental; however, the effects of mental health are all too real. Binge drinking interferes with chemicals in the brain, which in turn affects mental health. Extended use of alcohol can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. 

Tech has many resources for students to entertain themselves with. The Recreation Center offers services on campus such as fitness facilities, intramural sports and the Outdoor Pursuits Center.

Learn to have fun in college without depending on alcohol. The world is a beautiful place with unlimited things to offer. Find what you makes you happy. 

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