Everybody has heard of the famous trope of the “poor” college student, forced to eat nothing but ramen noodles out of financial necessity. But if college students are so poor, how is it that 80 percent of them can afford to drink and that 50 percent of those who drink can afford to binge drink? Yes, as you may know, drinking is a huge problem among students in the U.S., many of whom apparently are willing to spend what little money they have on booze.
Of course, we Americans as a whole love our alcohol. According to a new infographic by 12 Keys Rehab, in the U.S., $1 of every $100 spent goes toward the purchase of alcohol — and about 60 cents of that dollar is spent at bars, while the other 40 cents is being spent at stores.
But just how much money do college students spend on alcohol? The average college student blows $500 on alcohol per year; that’s about $42 per month. By the end of the average student’s college career, he or she has likely spent upwards of $2,000 on alcoholic beverages. You could build a ramen fortress with that cash! (Or, more realistically, cover a few months’ rent.)
The Average College Drinker
The average college freshman drinks five drinks per week, the infographic reports, but these drinks could be spread throughout the week, right? And a single drink each night isn’t that bad for you and could even possibly be good for your health, according to some doctors.
Not so fast! If these drinks were actually nightly glasses of red wine, would 25 percent of college students report academic problems due to drinking? Students report missing classes, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall all due to alcohol. (In fact, and the average undergrad spends 10.6 hours per week drunk, based on data collected from the USDA, FDA, NIAA and Forbes.)
Consequences of Drinking
This is only the tip of the iceberg. College drinking also increases the odds of being a victim of crime, self-injury and health problems later in life, up to and including death. In fact, 110,000 students are arrested every year for alcohol-related incidents, reports CollegeDrinkingPrevention.org. It’s a strain on your academic life (and wallet) that no one needs.
Savannah Marie is a food and travel enthusiast and writer. When she isn’t trying out a new recipe or taking a trip outside her comfort zone, she is writing for her blog, Mixios, which features posts on everything from marketing to travel to fitness. Follow her on Twitter.