Tag Archives: college

Pick one: 4.0 or Alcohol?

In college, it’s pretty clear that a lot of students consume alcohol on the weekends and even days other than friday and saturday. However, at an academically-strong university such as Penn State, one would think that even people who drink on the weekends are able to maintain high GPAs. So, I decided to look into the matter.

Northwestern University made a compilation of studies which looked into the effects of regular alcohol consumption on academic performance. First, it was found that binge-drinking, even on the weekends, correlated with an increase of absences in classes, especially those that the students disliked. Prior to this class, I would say that drinking alcohol causes students to miss class. However, now I’ve realized that correlation does not equal causation. There could be a confounding variable, such as spending a lot of time with friends. Spending time with friends could mean drinking more alcohol and also spending less time studying.

The studies also found that high risk drinking has a negative correlation with GPA. According to the article, “Among drinkers, the lower the GPA, the higher the percentage who drank or were heavy drinkers.” This makes sense in theory because people who are always drinking on the weekends heavily clearly do not have time to study for big exams or write papers. Also, I considered the different ways that correlation would not equal causation here. Again, confounding variables can occur, such as high involvement in extra-curriculars that focus heavily on drinking and allow for less time for academics. Also, reverse causation could be relevant here– I know that a poor GPA would drive me to drink!

Despite my previously mentioned theories, in the grand scheme of things, academics and GPAs are probably more important than alcohol, so it might be smarter to focus on the academics while at school. Throughout all of the studies, it can probably be concluded that a 4.0 is hard to achieve with constant heavy drinking, so guys, please– lay off the drinking, at least before big exams.


“Studies say 100% of Students Claiming to have the PSU Plague are Actually Lying.”

It’s inevitable here. People say getting sick in college is the worst, but I haven’t had any time here where I haven’t been sick. Last night, while my roommate was coughing up a lung, I quickly wondered if the Emergen-C in our drawer would help the disease from spreading to my side of the room. However, I went to sleep anyways and woke up this morning feeling awful. So here I am, left wondering if the huge amounts of Vitamin C found in Emergen-C or Vitamin C supplements actually make a difference when suffering from a cold.

According to this article, a lot of experts claim daily exposure to Vitamin C hasn’t been found to make much of a difference in sick days. It’s heavily debated over but what’s clear is that too much Vitamin C can be harmful to the body. It can cause nausea or other stomach issues, so it’s best to not consume more than 2,000 mg per day.

However, this doesn’t help me, because I’m still looking for a way to avoid getting sick.

Colorado State University says that it’s important to be physically healthy with what you can control– like your sleep habits, your physical activity, and the types of food you eat. Balancing all of these well, and also avoiding major stress, should help to make for a strong immune system.

Another way to avoid getting sick and missing class is by getting the flu shot. Dr. Mark Hyman claims that it doesn’t actually do much for people outside of the very elderly and infants whom  for them, the flu could be fatal. However, using my newfound scientist skills, I will follow the majority of doctors recommendations by getting the flu shot this year to give myself the best chance possible. It isn’t too hard to stop by the HUB and get one, that is of course unless I’d be late to class..