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    3 Hard Truths About Drinking Underage

    3 Hard Truths About Drinking Underage

    by guest blogger Josephine 

    At some point in our teenage years, we become introduced to the idea of alcohol. In some cultures, families introduce wine to their children at a somewhat younger age and in doing so will give them a small glass of wine at dinner time. It teaches them to be responsible drinkers in the future. In most countries, the legal drinking age is 18, so as soon as they are adults, they can drink legally and responsibly and also start to learn about what kind of drinks they like. In American culture, we are stereotyped as reckless drinkers who party all of the time. This stereotype is not entirely true, but the legal drinking age being 21 makes some people not be able to learn how to drink moderately and responsibly at a young age and instead some people take it and go crazy. This law also imposes some dangers on anyone under 21 who may try and drink anyways. Not only is it illegal, but as teenagers we tend to think we are invincible when in reality we are not, so sometimes we feel that these dangers do not apply to us. These are the three hard truths about drinking underage as not only Americans but as teens in America.

    #1. Jail is a real possibility – If you are in possession of alcohol or have alcohol in your system, you will get arrested. If you are driving with alcohol in your system, then you will get a DUI no matter what no matter how little alcohol is in your system. When you are not responsible if you drink underage, it can put you behind bars and ruin your personal record.

    #2. You won’t truly have fun if you aren’t being responsible, no matter what age – Not only is jail a possibility when drinking underage but the morning after can reveal any bad decisions you made the night before. When you are new to drinking and are figuring things out on your own, you may not know about certain things like the severity of a hangover or what that one drunk text can do to your dignity. You may have fun for a moment or two but if you aren’t responsible the consequences can surpass the fun you had the previous night. This is one of those things that most people end up learning the hard way.

    #3. People have died from drinking too much and drinking recklessly – This is another “you aren’t invincible” piece of advice. Those who lose someone from alcohol-related incidences tend to be more careful when they drink; I know some people who don’t drink at all because they lost someone due to reckless drinking. These types of incidences can include drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, or even raging drunks who have hurt others while under the influence. Whatever you do, don’t pose a threat to yourself and especially those around you.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking when you are being responsible, and even more importantly you are in a safe space and/or with people who you feel safe around. We all love having a glass of wine with dinner or having a beer with friends. Nonetheless, the drinking age is 21 and you will always have the possibility of putting yourself in danger when you decide to pick up a drink until you reach that age. It can be easy to stay sober in high school, but harder once you graduate and you have older friends. Just remember to remain cautious and always stay aware of your surroundings. If you are being reckless, you are not only putting yourself at risk but those around you as well.

  • Photography

    ADJUSTMENT! By: Kristen Gardner (UAB Intern)

    ADJUSTMENT! The word that seems so distant, but yet so relevant to our everyday lives. Every single year as the new year begins, we have to get adjusted to the things that the new year brings. Starting another year of middle school or high school comes with new responsibilities, sometimes new friends, new expectations and new relationships. Sometimes these things can be very exciting or it can make us feel nervous for our future. Here are a few tips that I have on becoming adjusted.

    1. GET A PLANNER! I did not realize how unorganized I was until I got a planner. I thought it was a stupid idea at first until I actually started writing in it daily. It keeps me on schedule with my everyday life and it helps me not forget the important things.

    2. Set some GOALS! Sometimes we can feel unfocused or lost because we do not set any goals for ourselves. Set a short term and a long term goal for yourself and stick to it. The end result will feel AMAZING!

    3. Be open to a NEW year! I know this may sound a little cliché, but sometimes we limit ourselves on the countless opportunities that we may have with a new year. A new school year can bring us countless new experiences that we have never experienced before.

    4. Be open to making new friends! This is a big one! I remember thinking that I would have the same friends forever. I never really tried to make new friends until I came to college and WOW I was missing out. The greatest adventure is getting to know new people and making new memories. Now I’m not saying get rid of your best friends but it does not hurt to open your social count of friends.

    5. Realize that you are a different person than you were yesterday! But seriously tho! My greatest challenge was learning that I will continue to change. I may not like the same things ten years from now or I may hate the same restaurant that I just loved a week from now. This is totally normal. Is it okay to CHANGE! It is okay to try new things. It is okay to find yourself!

    6. And lastly make MEMORIES and HAVE FUN! A new year always comes with an opportunity to make new memories and to try new things. Take advantage of this because before you know it, we will all be saying goodbye to high school and college and will be adults in the real world one day!

  • Books, Photography

    Book Review: Open Heart

    Towing the line between life and death. Dr. Stephen Westaby weaves a tale of his most riveting encounters in the operating room in Open Heart. Not only is Westaby a brilliant heart surgeon, but he is also a talented writer. Coming from a humble background, Westaby rose up the ranks through his innovative approaches to heart surgery and his pioneering work with the artificial heart.
    What struck me the most about this memoir was the way Westaby made heart surgery as riveting as a BMX race. Even with all of the complicated vocabulary and approaches mentioned, Westaby manages to make his most complicated surgeries understandable by the average lay person.
    The stories within Open Heart are filled with moments of heartbreak and joy. Open Heart was the first ever medical memoir I read, and let me tell you – it was amazing. This book has made a surge to the top of my favorite summer books list this year. I am so sure that all of you will think the same, especially if you’re considering a career in medicine!