At the Law Office of Mike Campbell, we pride ourselves on giving back to our local and nationwide community however we can. As part of that dedication, we decided to start a scholarship in 2018. The Fall 2018 submission period just came to a close– our first time holding the scholarship– and we were humbled by the amount of applications we received as well as the overall quality of every essay.
Thank you to everyone who applied! We’re pleased to announce we’ve chosen a winner.
Congratulations to Morgan Ackley of Boise, Idaho!
Morgan is attending Boise State University’s graduate program and is working toward a master’s degree in technical communication.
The essay topic was as follows:
How can college students avoid the temptations of alcohol and getting behind the wheel after drinking?
Here is her winning essay:
“It starts with an invitation. Maybe it’s the first one of the school year, maybe the first one ever. It’s important to go for various reasons: socializing, making friends, finding a place to belong. There is alcohol around along with students drunk at varying levels and music blaring. It’s the typical college party seen on TV shows and movies. Everyone seems to be having fun, there’s nothing to worry about, it’s all carefree.
Except for the moment when someone who can barely walk straight gets behind the wheel and is unable to see the pedestrian walking through the crosswalk.
This happens all too often on college campuses as drinking has become an accepted norm of student life. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, four out of five college students drink, half of who also partake in binge drinking. Between the pressures to fit in, advertisements for alcohol featuring young actors, and drinking activities promoted by campus groups such as sororities and fraternities, it is no wonder so many college students give in to the temptation to drink.
Many college students drink because it is what their friends and roommates do on weekend nights. Often, the alcohol winds up in college dormitories even on dry campuses and students partake due to peer pressure or thinking it is the gateway to having a good time. I always heard stories about classmates’ friends or roommates getting so drunk they passed out in the dorm bathroom or broke furniture or worse, hurt themselves.
One way students can avoid the temptation to drink is to invest in a hobby or activity that takes them away from the campus environments that encourage them to drink. During my last year of college, I drank often and always to the point of drunkenness. I drank to socialize, but also to ease the stress of problems going on in my life. I had friends that would drink with me and even encourage me to drink more than I should have.
Then I discovered rock climbing. I learned how good it felt to exercise and the rewarding feeling of progressing at something I loved. Soon, I started training hard and figuring out ways to get better. I felt good about myself and wanted to continue to feed my body with good fuel. I quit drinking so heavily and treated alcohol as a treat, rather than a way of forgetting about problems in my life. Rock climbing also got me away from campus and opened the doors for me to make friends with people who felt the same way about taking care of their bodies.
If students cannot find an activity off campus that they enjoy or they want to be involved with campus groups, they have the option of choosing groups that do not encourage drinking alcohol. Students can join fraternities and sororities that require students to volunteer for the local community. Volunteer work is a great way for students to find personal fulfillment and to make friends.
Students can also become involved by serving in leadership roles, such as student council, becoming an RA, or leading student orientation. By becoming a leader, students learn how to be a role model to their peers by making good decisions, such as refraining from underage drinking or binge drinking.
If students still decide to drink, they should always have a plan for when they decide to leave the party or the bar that does not involve getting behind the wheel. Some students may think it is okay to drive after a drink, however, studies show that just one drink can affect a person’s ability to drive and the time it takes for the alcohol to digest depends on various factors such as weight, alcohol tolerance, and how much someone ate before they drank.
One way students can combat the temptation to drink and drive is to plan ahead. If a student attends a house party, the student can find out if it is possible to stay the night with a friend who lives nearby or decide to only attend house parties if they are within walking distance. Even without a lot of pre-planning, the rising availability of car services such as Uber and Lyft is a convenient resource to keep students from getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Resisting the temptation to drink has always been a challenge to students and it will continue to be one for as long as it takes to change the toxic campus environments that encourage drinking and partying. Students always have the choice to abstain and say no. However, as that may be difficult for some, there are options for students to get involved in groups and activities that take them away from the college drinking environment. The key to encourage students not to drink and drive is to help them realize that there are always other options.”
For more information on the next scholarship period which will be for Fall 2019, please see our law firm’s scholarship page. Congratulations again, Morgan! Good luck in all your future endeavors.