The month of May means one thing across the country: graduation time. Spring is in the air and hundreds of thousands of college graduates across the country have a spring in their step and a plan in their mind. As you consider the many ramifications of graduating, growing up, and getting one of those “real world” jobs, here’s another thought to keep in mind: now is also the time to leave your party ways, and drinking habits, behind. College days are almost synonymous with college drinking, but here are the financial and health aspects that show that continued drinking is just waiting to derail your post-grad plans.
Drinking is Expensive
Alright, chances are good that you are already aware that alcohol costs money. A lot of money! However, what you may not have fully considered is how much everything else costs, now that you’re out of school. Those college perks, such as the school-supplied gymnasium and cheap cafeteria food, are waving to you in your rearview mirror.
Looking forward, you’ll have to pay for a gym membership on your own, look for an apartment or house to live in, and budget for a reasonable grocery bill. When faced with a slew of new bills for the first time in your adult life, that $20 case of beer every weekend really starts to add up and cut into necessary items like food and utilities. According to a survey, some people spend over $1,000 on beer annually! That is a month of rent in some areas.
Not only that, but completely new expenses and financial requirements are going to hit you in the coming months. Six out of ten graduating students can look forward to their first student loan payment before the end of the year, and many have not given much thought to how they will budget for that payment. If you have a job lined up, you’ll need to spend money on a professional work wardrobe. Of course, if you don’t, you’ll have job hunting expenses. All these new adult responsibilities can put a strain into even the best-planned budget, so do yourself a favor by cutting back on elective expenses such as large quantities of alcohol!
Drinking is Unhealthy
Drinking too much is indisputably unhealthy for you, and research suggests that this is true even when it happens occasionally. For example, drinking seven drinks in one day is significantly worse for your health than drinking one drink per day over the course of seven days. Excessive drinking can lead to a litany of health problems, including liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and increased risk of certain cancers. This is not even including the heightened risk of violence and injuries that often accompanies “party drinking” or “binge drinking.”
That said, drinking slight amounts of alcohol in moderation is actually good for you, it turns out. The key to making drinking work for you, and not against you, is to set limits for yourself and stick to them. The resveratrol in a glass of red wine may have heart-healthy benefits, according to recent research. However, drinking an entire bottle will result in more damage done than good. Let graduation from college also be a chance to make smarter long-term drinking habits, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier and more financially sound future.
This guest post is written by Lauren Davidson. Lauren is pursuing a double major in Communications and English at the University of Pennsylvania. Find out more about Lauren at laurdavidson.com.