With the NCAA March Madness tournament underway college students across the country gather together to rally behind their team to show their school spirit and pride. College sports bring many positives to today’s culture in that they bring people together and give them a sense of belonging and reason to celebrate. However, bringing college students together to celebrate sports also brings heavy drinking. The Washington Post put out that study after study reveals that binge drinking increases drastically among the college demographic during football season, and it’s no different during March Madness. It is not the heavy drinking in itself that is bad, but rather the destructive behaviors that come with excessive alcohol consumption. What could have been a fun weekend of watching basketball, cheering on your college team, and making good memories with friends turns into a weekend full of regrets and negative outcomes. When did we as a society make the switch from college sports being a just a pure celebration of human physical ability to an excuse to drink way too much, engage in drunken fights, and get way too out of control?
Does this societal shift say something about our standards or lack of standards for how we treat ourselves and those around us? Could we be overlooking a bigger problem in our communities, colleges, and society? College students decide every weekend during football and basketball season to take part in reckless binge drinking without giving it a second thought because their world around them says it’s okay and it’s “harmless fun”. When young people are okay with drinking in excess they become okay with other reckless behaviors. The world of binge drinking opens you up to a whole realm of destruction that can seep into your relationships, school, work, and mental health. As a society we need to realize and promote the truth that we can celebrate sports, life, and friendly competition without the irresponsible use of substances. We can promote and celebrate college sports in a way that brings positive fun and creates good memories as opposed to shameful regrets. We need to make it a priority to educate young people that substance abuse at an early age can lead to very negative consequences later in life that could negatively impact their futures.