College Writing Assignment

(and I’m not even in college anymore)

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My friend is going to school to earn her Associate’s Degree (much luck to her as she works towards her new goals in life). She sees me bored and unsure what to do. She hears me saying I really need to get to writing again. She asked me if I wanted to do her English assignment. I have said if you give me writing prompts I will attempt to respond to them. I figure this is pretty much the same thing. So while she’s working on hers, I’m writing mine.

The assignment is to write a responsive essay. Below, you will find a link to read the article assigned by her teacher. Beneath that, you will find my response to the article. As you learned in Damaged by a Drunk Driver, I have been personally and irreversibly affected by a drunk driver. My story is one of many. Harming another person is only one of the many risks associated with drinking. This article is about how young adults perceive the risks of smoking, drinking, and drug use.

College Kids Perception Favors Risky Binge Drinking and Using Drugs; but Not for Smoking Tobacco

Many young adults still don’t believe that they’re at great risk of harm from binge drinking alcohol and using some drugs, a new survey suggests. Researchers found, for example, that about a third of young adults aged 18 to 22 years do not perceive a great risk of harm from weekly binge drinking, and more than 1 in 5 do not perceive such a risk from trying heroin once or twice.

[Read the Article]

Further Education for Young Adults may be Necessary

The article College Kids Perception Favors Risky Binge Drinking and Using Drugs; but Not for Smoking Tobacco is meant to show that young adults don’t acknowledge the risk factors of drinking and drug use. I felt that the article misrepresented the facts. I am encouraged by some of the results of the surveys discussed. The article seems to be missing some information that could help provide proper education for young adults as they prepare for college and adulthood.

Surveys suggest that only about one quarter of young adults are smoking. These same surveys suggest that more than half are drinking alcohol, but only a little over a third admit to binge drinking. While twenty percent admitted to using marijuana, the use of hard drugs was extremely low. While more than three quarters of young adults know where to find marijuana, not as many were sure where to find hard drugs.

Surveys performed using the same age criteria showed that three quarters of young adults in that age bracket were aware of the risks of smoking cigarettes. More than half recognize that there is risk associated with daily binge drinking but only a third of that age bracket thought it was risky to binge drink on a weekly basis. Fifty to seventy five percent of young adults recognize the risks of heavy drug use.

There is a bit of a misrepresentation of the facts in the voice of the article. It focuses on a difference between those attending college versus those of the same age who are not taking classes full time. In my opinion, the differences are not so large as to spend any amount of the article focused on it. I found it encouraging how many were aware of the risks.What worries me is that the number of college age kids binge drinking is similar to the number of college kids who are aware of the risks. I would be interested to know if these are the same people.

The article could have been better written by presenting the facts learned from the surveys in the beginning section and then pointing out the dangers of the risky behaviors in the same article. Did the surveys focus on certain risk factors or just the existence of risk? What risk factors are the young adults aware of versus what risk factors do they need to be made more aware of?

College Kids Perception Favors Binge Drinking and Using Drugs; but Not for Smoking Tobacco provides a collection of data, but lacks enough information to provide a useful jumping off point to continue educating those at risk. Perhaps the numbers could be changed if there were more articles available to remind young adults of the risks they are taking with their own lives, the lives of those they love, and even the lives of strangers when they choose to smoke, drink, or do drugs.


In other news

I haven’t been in an English class in many years. I’m not really certain that a teacher would give me a good grade on the above work. However, it is my honest response to the article. And, writing a responsive essay was a great way to get my mind writing again. It’s been on a sort of hiatus while I’ve been busy moving and getting settled in. Hopefully, my writing mojo is back and you will be hearing from me more often once more. Also, I will be picking up articles and getting back to work again starting tomorrow.

Tomorrow is our daughter’s first day of school in her new school. She only spent a week at her previous school, so she seems to be having a bit of anxiety that school is going to go away like her last one did. We are hoping that she has a smooth day, meets some great kids to build friendships with, and bonds well with her teachers and school staff. Keep her in your thoughts tomorrow as she restarts the adventure of heading back to school.

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