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Reason to Race #21: A Better Goal for 21
There's something seriously wrong with college culture, and we aren't talking about it enough. Across the nation, there's a growing epidemic endangering the lives of our college-aged children. Let's see if we can name the culprit...
1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from it, roughly the same number as an entire graduating class at Dartmouth.
More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been doing it. That is more than the total population of most US cities.
More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of sexual assault or date rape related to it. This is almost five times the number of individuals who can fit into Madison Square Garden and about 10,000 more than fit into "The Swamp" at University of Florida.
599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of it. That is just shy of the number of people who live in Boston.
More than 150,000 students develop a health problem related to it, and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to it. (NIAAA.nih.gov)
As you've undoubtedly inferred by now, the culprit is drinking, binge drinking specifically.
And the solution lies in student choice, voice, and leadership. Just as my generation raised itself out of the smoke-infested life most of us grew up in when we recognized how seriously dangerous it is to smoke and gross it is to smoke inside restaurants and airplanes...so too can this next generation raise itself out of the Animal House debauchery we gifted to you. In other words, be smarter than us for crying out loud!
What many of my generation didn't realize until they had already suffered many consequences of rough living is a much better path to dealing with stress and a much smarter way to socialize. You guessed it...fitness!
So my Reason to Race #21 is to inspire a new goal for 21. How about a classic distance tri? That's about 21 miles, what an amazing accomplishment! Even a fun midnight run followed by a ton of cake would be a great idea. Don't love my old-lady ideas? Here's a great list by a college student who is part of the 20% who don't drink, "Sober Things to do on Your 21st Birthday".
My wish to all my students and my children is that you stop the insanity. Already, some of you out there have begun to make that change in the college culture with strong leadership. Bravo! I firmly believe that some of the student leadership needed at the college level is going to come from students who have talent and not funds. It's one of the reasons I've chosen Scholarship America for my race cause. If you'd like to donate, please click the link below, and thank you for your support! #thumbsup!
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