Drinking age accurately reflects young adults’ maturity level

Opinions Columnist | Journalism Junior

The drinking age should stay at 21—18-year-olds are still too young and naïve to add alcohol into their lives.

Most 18-year-olds have just graduated high school and are entering unsupervised circumstances for the first time. Being able to do whatever they want whenever they want can lead to dangerous situations, one of which is drinking too much alcohol.

Alcohol consumption in college is a lot more intense than it is at some high school party. Even though 18-year-olds can smoke, drive and vote, adding alcohol into the equation for someone who is about to take on a lot more responsibility is not a smart idea.

Eighteen-year-olds face more pressure when they enter a college setting. They have to learn how to handle being alone, higher levels of stress and increased social, academic and financial pressure. Some students feel pressured to drink during this time in order to be accepted by those around them. Others may use alcohol to escape from their problems, responsibilities and schoolwork. This is obviously dangerous for many reasons.

One common issue in college culture is binge drinking. Binging on alcohol is already a problem for underage drinkers. Giving young adults easier access to alcohol along with all the other pressures students face is dangerous. Students can end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning, or even in fatal car accidents.

I understand being 18 and wanting the right to drink. I was there. Now being 21 and legally able to drink, I understand that the right to drink comes with responsibility. The temptation to go out and drink every night is strong and is something I have to learn to control.

At 21, there are still a lot of students who cannot hold their alcohol. Even those older than 21 can have trouble knowing their limits and controlling their behavior. Lowering the drinking age would only increase the amount of alcohol-related accidents, as many young adults have not yet matured enough to handle regular alcohol consumption. Allowing more people to make bad decisions is a bad decision in itself.

Even though 18-year-old students are considered adults by society and are given the responsibilities of adults in many aspects, some if not most still have the mentality of a teenager. Teen is still in the name. Letting 18-year-olds mature a little bit before being able to legally drink is the best decision.