College Kid Calls Mom and Dad: “Ate French Fries Off the Sidewalk and Went to the ER”

French Fries Go to the Park

An alarming statistic I just heard on John Tesh radio show of all places is that one-third of all ER visits by teenagers are alcohol-related.  The majority were males and of those males, the age breakdown was 53.4% of males ages 12 to 17 and 62.1% ages 18 to 20. (This data can be found in The DAWN Report (July 2010), published by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)).  But it gets even worse…read on.

Not only are prospects dim and getting dimmer that our college grads will find jobs upon graduation (2010 grads are competing with 2009 grads; we have compounding unemployment among the young white-collared)  Some are drinking away their brains as a recent study has shown that among the young, excessive drinking actually destroys neural stem cells in the brain impairing young people’s ability to learn and remember, a condition known as impaired neurogenesis.

So, you spend on average between $7k for public in-state tuition and fees and up to 26k for private college so your kids can further their mental capabilities and instead, in large numbers, they are actually destroying their ability to learn by drinking until they pass out.  Perhaps Obamacare’s extension of of coverage to children on their parents’ policies until age 26 is an attempt to absorb those graduates who won’t be employed with health coverage upon graduation as well as those who won’t have the capability to graduate because their brains don’t function properly.

This is no laughing matter but I have an incident to share that at the time was very funny…at least my boys who are 8 and 6 were very amused.  It was about 2am and we were waiting for my husband’s bus to arrive from Logan airport.  I arrived a half-hour early and thought the kids would either be asleep or bored silly.  Well, it turns out we had plenty of entertainment going on right outside our car windows.

We were parked close to the center of campus at Dartmouth College.  Some of the entertaining co-eds walking by were the girl carrying her shoes who would occasionally drop her shoe, keep walking and then 3 minutes later turn around and retrieve her shoe.  She did this about 5 times.  My boys’ favorite was the guy walking with his buddy who dropped his styrofoam container filled with a burger and fries on the sidewalk, fell down onto his knees and started eating the french fries off the sidewalk while his buddy was laughing so hard he fell on the grass.  The two of them carried on for about 5 minutes before they got the burger and remaining fries off the sidewalk and back into the box and were on their merry drunk way.  Annual cost to go to this Ivy party: $46k.

Parents with kids in college are either drunk or irrational (or both) because the money they’re spending on higher ed would be better utilized at the bottom of a birdcage.