Tag Archives: drinking

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.