Being a college senior, this will be my fourth and last UNH halloween. Since I have loved to dress up since I was a little kid, Halloween is naturally one of my favorite holidays. For many of us, Halloween went from trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, filling up a pillowcase of sweets and having an intense candy trading session with friends and siblings to three or four crazy nights of going out and getting, as the term goes, drUNHk.
I know it may be shocking to read about how much UNH students party on Halloween in the newspaper, but it’s the truth. You know it, I know it, administration knows it, the bartenders know it and the police know it. While this party scene may be, to us students, part of the holiday spirit, there have been one too many times I have seen students who are far too intoxicated on Halloween.
Many may have used or heard a friend use the term “blacked out” referencing to their night of drinking. But do you really know what blacking out is? It’s actually really scary. This is a reaction in the brain when an intoxicated person can’t remember details of events, or even entire periods of time. It is a period of amnesia, the brain is incapable of forming new memories.
According to sobernation.com, a young adult’s brain is not finished developing until the age of 25. This puts us college age students at risk for making dangerous decisions, such as drinking until blacked out. Not to mention, when one blacks out, they not only don’t remember what they did, but cannot control their actions while in the altered state. This can lead to bad decisions as small as doing something embarrassing to larger mistakes like getting behind the wheel of a vehicle or allowing and encouraging other alcohol impaired friends to take the driver’s seat. It can also lead to unwanted sexual advances or alcohol poisoning.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism “College Drinking Fact Sheet,” about 1,825 college students between ages  18-24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries every year. The 2013 study also states that about 696,000 students between ages 18-24 have been or will be assaulted by another student who had been drinking. Being the survivor in this situation is one thing, but being “blacked out” may cause one to make decisions they wouldn’t make while sober, like making the mistake of reading an advance wrong. Remember, one cannot give consent the second a sip of alcohol is taken.
I am not asking you not to go out, party or drink. What I am asking, Wildcats, is to drink responsibly. Listen to your body, and respect your personal limits. Don’t you want to remember the fun times you had during the notorious UNH Halloweekend?
 

Executive Editor