Walking beside the Pearl River with classmates Jiang Hai suddenly threw up into the bushes.
Patting his back, a friend joked: “It’s good to clear out your stomach so that you can handle another party tonight.”
On the verge of graduation, binge drinking on campus is on the rise. Various farewell parties and commencement banquets are dominated by alcohol.
Experts say that the culture of drinking should be changed for the sake of both health and social etiquette.
Jiang, 23, a management major at Guangzhou University, went to three farewell parties last week. He has a slight allergy to alcohol.
“Every time I drink I throw up,” said Jiang. “But how can I not drink when female students raise their glasses with me in front of a cheering crowd?”
According to Yao Xingchen, of the student service sector at Shenzhen University, the drinking culture is a negative traditional influence.
“Students assume that the amount one drinks defines how deep the friendship is, which is very misleading,” said Yao. “It is a negative social influence.”
From the perspective of Zhang Liwei, of the security department of Beijing Union University, drinking is now causing more disputes during the graduation season.
“Recently, almost every night we dealt with drunk students fighting or overly emotional behavior, both on and off campus,” said Zhang.
Hu Tingting, 22, a math major at Hubei University, knows how tricky alcohol can be but in the name of friendship, hardly anyone would refuse another beer.
“It has been a tradition,” said Hu.
The average student will attend half a dozen parties with classmates, societies, faculties and hometown folks in the graduation season.
Wang Wenjun, 23, an education major at East China Normal University, gets annoyed at the high cost.
“The average meal costs more than 50 yuan,” said Wang. “Multiply that figure four or six times and it mounts up for students’ on a limited budget.”
For Wu Guihua, of Wuhan University Hospital, health rather than money is the main issue.
Alcohol poisoning is very harmful, especially to the liver and can pose long-term health risks to students.
“How can one have a good career without a healthy body?” said Wu. “Bear that in mind and we might see more self-control.”
It turned out that Jiang drank himself into hospital the night he threw up beside the Pearl River. It was the third time in his four-year college career.
“Finally my friends promised me that I don’t have to drink at future reunions,” said Jiang.