Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Life After the Party"

An event that I attended was “Life After the Party.” This event featured various Loyola Students who spoke about real life stories about drug us and alcoholism. Every student who spoke had a different story to tell about a point in their lives when they had gotten into drugs or alcohol, and were struggling to escape. Everyday these students remember their past, and have to work extremely hard to fight these problems and keep them away. The four students spoke passionately and openly about the problems they faced, and hoped to influence Loyola students to be smart about their college social lives.
The first speaker is out of college and happily married with children, but began drinking when he was only 11, and also began doing drugs at a very young age. He explained that he lost most of his friends and was no longer accepted by many people. When he finally realized that he needed help, he went to rehab for two years, then went on to community college, and from there he continued his education at Loyola. He explained that he decided to live off campus because he was scared about drinking again on campus with the other students. He continues to go to AA meetings to stop him from ever drinking again. The second student was his roommate in the off campus house. He began drinking at a young age as well, but realized that he didn’t do it just to party but because he was upset. He went to jail when he was in high school, but after getting out he attended AA meetings. Today, he has been sober for about 14 years. The third student explained how she didn’t want to be involved with parties and drinking at Loyola, and so she stopped drinking the summer before college, in hopes of avoiding the need to once she moved in. However, she couldn’t stay sober for even a month, and so she worked with Loyola’s Alcohol and Drug Education and Support Services program, and was able to become sober once again. The final speaker is still attending Loyola today. He has been in trouble with the school several times, and soon realized that he did not want to be a bad kid. He too began attending AA meetings, but stopped when he realized that he would be fine without them. Then just a couple days ago he began drinking again, now, he has been sober for about a week.
This event related mainly to the story- “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemingway. In the story, a man is trying to pressure his girlfriend into having an operation. From his words, we can assume that he wants her to have an abortion. This story relates directly to the event because they are drinking and he is peer pressuring her. The man is called “the American” and the girlfriend’s name is Jig; Jig does not want to have the abortion, but the American keeps telling her to do it. This shows that he truly does not care about her in any way, and only worried about how the baby would affect his own life. He seems to discuss something extremely significant over drinks, which may suggest that he is trying to get her drunk in order for her to agree with him. Peer pressure is often the reason why people make stupid decisions without thinking first. College life is full of peer pressure, and it’s hard to avoid socializing through drinking and parties. People must learn to avoid these situations and only listen to what their conscience tells them to do.

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