First thing’s first; let me state that I am 21-years-old. That being said, I’m posing a question that applies to even those who are underage: should the drinking age be lowered?
This is something I have always thought about, long before I even turned 21. All over the world, the drinking age is set at different ages. A lot of places, including the United Kingdom and Canada, have a legal drinking age of 18 or 19. The United States has one of the highest ranking ages at 21.
A while ago, one of my professors was discussing the advantages of lowering the drinking age in the U.S. Some of these advantages included: less driving accidents, more responsible drinkers or drinkers who make choices that don’t endanger themselves and others, or break the law and less rebellious college students.
One of the main reasons college students drink is to feel accepted. They want the college life shown in the movies and think drinking is the way to achieve that. Another reason college kids drink is because those who aren’t of age like the rush they get from doing something illegal (and it doesn’t seem to matter that a lot of college students who are underage drink).
I believe that a lot of the problems associated with underage drinking would be solved if the drinking age was lowered. For example, if the drinking age was lowered to 18-years-old then parents could teach their kids to drink more responsibly before college. Also, by the time college rolled around, a lot of teens would already be of age (and those who weren’t would mostly be turning 18 during their freshmen year). This would eliminate a significant amount of underage drinking, as well as the rebellion that typically goes on in college.
After talking to a lot of my friends about turning 21, I’ve found that they pretty much all think that drinking is less exciting when there is no chance of getting caught for being underage. The excitement of drinking and getting away with it is eliminated. They end up going to the bar on occasion and losing interest in house parties (and sometimes losing interest in the bar and spending all their money, too).
This same thing would still happen if the drinking age were lowered to 18 instead of 21. 18-year-olds would arrive at college having had previous drinking experience if they wanted it because it was legal, instead of none or very little because they were still underage.
All in all, lowering the drinking age would be a good thing.