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Drink Responsibly

By AMINA MAMATY

One of the best parts of being an international student is that you get to represent your country and “promote your culture.” I know that whatever I may do, people will associate it with my culture and make it a stereotype, so I try to not be too crazy and I am always down to answer questions. The funniest thing I have been asked, right above “Do you guys have ice cream and burgers in France” is “Have you ever met Marie – Antoinette,” queen of France in the 18th century. I died from a heart attack, came back to life and told that girl, “no.”

The most frequent question that my fellow friends ask me is “what is the drinking age in France.” They go crazy when I tell them that there is no age limit to consume alcohol in my home country. It didn’t take me long to notice that the party scene in America was very driven by the consuming of alcohol. I wondered for a while why American college students made drinking a big deal. At first, I thought it was because of the fact that there is an age limit, and so it is seen as rebellious behavior. I found it crazy how people were proud to tell the world on Mondays about how crazy they were acting when they were under the influence the past weekend.

Coming to America from a country where I could have been drinking since I was born, I had to adjust to the law. It wasn’t really hard for me because I never really drank back home. When I was underage, I thought that if I’d ever get caught, I would be able to get away with “but in my country, I’m legal,” but I do know that Americans do not play when it comes to laws. I now do not believe if there wasn’t an age limit, like in France, young adults would drink a little less. We can take guns as an example, basically anybody can have access to them and individuals still abuse them. In France, guns are not allowed and you almost never hear about somebody getting shot. If it became the case in America, would it really change anything? I always ask myself why is that, and I found it crazy that our behavior, depending on where we come from, can be totally different.

Regardless of cultural background, it is important to be responsible when drinking. If not for yourself, do it for others. Until then, drink water and sweat off all these bad calories. Spring break is around the corner and you know you want to wear that swimsuit!
amamaty@lanthorn.com

Published February 24, 2013 in Global Perspectives

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