UniversityÂ isn't just about getting drunk
Student Shout is a weekly column by university and college students.Â Here Alex Saunders gives his view on student boozing...
Students have a reputation for being heavy drinkers at university. The view isÂ they don't go to learn and improve their chances of getting a good job '“Â but to party hard.Â
This ideaÂ is encouraged during the annual Freshers' week,Â whereÂ nights are planned for students to go out, socialise and enjoy themselves.Â At the start of each university year, photos appearÂ in national newspapers shamingÂ young people for being drunk, when most of the time they're simply enjoying themselves or caring for a new friend.
Students are villainised as a nuisance, who interruptÂ September byÂ filling the streets withÂ noise, mess and general irritating behaviour.
But people conveniently forgetÂ the students they know, or once were, who have ended up in similar situations.Â Such coverageÂ suggestsÂ students will spend their year drinking and being lazy before heading home in June. But thisÂ kind of attitude towardsÂ students completely disregards those helping the local area by buying from shopsÂ or the many getting jobs to support their studies.
Freshers' week, organised to allow students to enjoy themselves and meet people before beginning lectures, is often used to brand students as a group of inconsiderate yobs,Â ignoringÂ the many students who choose not to partake in the university drinking culture.
I have never roamed the streets at an unthinkable hour screaming, vandalising or vomiting. Nor have the majority of students I have met.
Yet it is assumed by many that all students do carry out this disrespectful behaviour and enjoy acting this way.
Perhaps people should recallÂ their own younger days. And they should realise students bring so much more to the communityÂ than drunken havoc.
Alex Saunders is aÂ journalism student at the University of Portsmouth.Â