Emma thinks that younger students drink alcohol because they are living away from home for the first time, and it’s easily available. They are young and immature and can often lose control, which can put them in a vulnerable situation.
Emma has never felt the need to get involved with drugs, but started drinking alcohol at about fourteen. She would drink with friends at house parties, joining in just for the sake of getting drunk and having fun. She thought that she became more responsible with alcohol as she got older, realising her limits and sticking to them. But when she went off to university, she again felt the need to joinin to drink. Drink is cheap at University and there are lots of opportunities for drinking. She does a lot of sports, and the sports societies are quite heavy drinkers and enjoy going out and having drinking games. She does have friends who don’t drink, which she thinks helps control her behaviour.
Emma says that people who have had no experience of alcohol growing up are the most likely to drink heavilyat university. She thinks that younger students drink alcohol because they are living away from home for the first time and have the freedom to drink as much as they want, but lack the maturity to control it. She never wanted to get into drugs because of the effects on her sports performance. She won’t drink if she has a big sporting event the next day, though heavy drinking every week is part of team bonding. Again, she tries to be responsible by knowing her limits with alcohol.
She says that there is a lot of pressure on the girls to keep up with the guys, especially for those who are competitive. They can’t drink as much, and it makes them vulnerable, especially when they go clubbing. She finds it scary when girls drink too much and lose control. Some students drink every day, and it is difficult to see which ones have a drink problem. If there was someone with a particular problem, there are places at university to get help such asthe Student Union or Nightline.
Emma thinks that young people need to be made aware of the dangers of alcohol, and at a young age, in school. Maybe visits to schools by a GP or someone of authority speaking to 13 or 14 year olds. She advises others not to drink too much, ‚it’s not fun, you feel horrific, other people have to look after you and they will, hopefully. ‚it’s just not a good situation‚