Drinking comes with age


I like to think I have a fine taste for alcohol. My hometown had one of the best wineries in Southwest Wisconsin, I take care of social media and promotions for a new distillery in Northern Idaho and my dad even made home brews.

 What I’m trying to say is alcohol is not bad in moderation, and I don’t think that you have to be 21 to enjoy alcohol socially.

 I remember the first time I had a drink: I was in second grade and my dad gave me a shot of blackberry brandy to get rid of my cold. I remember spitting it up as soon as it hit the back of my throat and thinking it was the worst cough medicine I had ever tasted. Today, as soon as I have phlegm in my lungs, I take a shot of blackberry brandy and thank my dad for teaching me how to drink.

 In my opinion, too many students come to college without the knowledge of how to drink in moderation, knowing their limits or knowing the people to surround themselves with.

 Most of my friends I met in college hadn’t had much to drink before they left home. Those were the friends who drank way more than they could handle, puked everywhere and often put themselves in poor situations at parties. I used to take on the “mom” role when I went out with my friends because I knew my surroundings and knew my limits.

 I’m not saying that parents should hand their kids a beer and make a spectacle out of drinking, but I do think it is important for parents to have conversations with their children about drinking. It is important to give them a safe environment to experiment with alcohol.  

 Most of my friends in high school had parents who shared the same idea as mine: drink, be safe and call for a ride.

 This gave us the ability to make our own decisions about alcohol and helped us figure out how to drink responsibly. I feel that, when you come to college, there is so much pressure to drink, and if you haven’t had a drink before your freshman year, you are pressured to drink even harder. Too many students end up in bad situations with people they hardly know because they didn’t have knowledge of alcohol before college.

 I don’t think that the legal drinking age is too high, but I do think that drinking is a skill that parents should instill in their kids before college.   

My college friends always comment on how much I can drink and my ability to still be a “mom” while intoxicated. I am usually chosen to play bartender every time we get together, and I am always asked what I’m ordering when we go out. I would like to accredit it to my good taste, but I think it’s actually because I grew up in Wisconsin. It also has something to do with those long nights my friends and I spent in the basement drinking “sweet tarts” in high school.


Brenna Ramsden is an agriculture communications major at SDSU and can be reached at [email protected].