Male, Senior:  As someone who does not embark in underage drinking, it is extremely uncomforting to consistently hear stories about teenagers in Clinton drinking illegally. Yes, coming from a teenager at the Morgan School themself, underage drinking is sadly prevalent in Clinton among the teenage population. Now certainly not every Morgan student is going out and getting drunk every weekend, but due to the fact that this issue is present in the first place, it is crucial that it is addressed. Underage drinking is real in Clinton Connecticut. 

I always told myself that I would never drink alcohol in high school. Luckily, I have been able to sustain this desire and view it as one of my biggest accomplishments. I choose not to drink underage because it is a huge waste of time and overall, rather stupid. I simply do not find enjoyment in drinking alcohol. The feeling and image are not worth it to me. I also do not want to waste my health or money. If anything, I think it devalues someone’s image and health. Quite the amount of kids at Morgan choose to drink alcohol because there is a “cool” stigma attached to it. All of the “cool and popular” kids are drinking, so kids try to put themselves in situations where they can be seen drinking so they appear cool and edgy as well. When freshmen see upperclassmen drinking they immediately want to try drinking because they see these upperclassmen as role models. They look up to them and want to be as admired as them someday. They look at alcohol as the solution to being popular, liked, and cool. I find it terrible because I have seen intelligent and kind people succumb themselves to peer pressure and alcohol. They have lost their friends, grades, and good reputation because of it. 

Although I am not 100% sure, most of the underage drinking occurs at high school parties or get-togethers. This is usually in one’s living room or kitchen, or one’s basement. I have heard party stories from students when the parents were not home or when they were. Crazy enough, I have even heard of times where parents supplied the alcohol to the students. In general, a lot of kids either steal or use their parent’s alcohol because they know where it is. There is additionally the chance that they have an older friend, who can buy it for them. Teenagers know connections and have older friends. I wish students knew the detrimental side effects of underage drinking because another reason as to why kids drink alcohol underage is because there is an obscene lack of perception of harm. To begin with, alcohol poisoning is the most severe, which leads to death. Underage drinking then hinders brain development significantly because the brain is in a current state of development. One loses their ability to multitask and all motivation after constant alcohol in their body system. Sadly, since kids need to, at times, drive themselves home from these parties they put other innocent drivers at risk when they decide to drive home with alcohol in their system. 

When one becomes a freshman they are faced with a brand new environment. Parents need to teach their freshmen how to make the right decisions early on in their high school career so they do not ruin their high school experience early on. I suggest that parents talk to their kids about this at the end of middle school and beginning of high school. It is great that the Morgan health class has moved as a freshman and sophomore class because that is when they are most vulnerable and need the drug education. Clinton is full of great kids. We are a wonderful small town and tight-knit community. It saddens me that underage drinking is a problem in Clinton, but I know with work from the school system, our parents, and sober kids, we can stop the issue.