Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Because That’s What College Kids DO!

Last weekend my son and his Frisbee team drove to the southern end of the state to participate in a tournament. I went down on Saturday to watch some of the competition and to drive my son home for the night, the alternative being that he would drive all the way back to the school, and return on Sunday for the second day of the tournament.

If I think back to my college days – and I only hung around with “neuro-typical” classmates (in fact, I can think of only one student in the four years I spent at college that may have had a high-functioning form of autism) – what we mostly did was drink. We drank frequently, and occasionally drank a lot. Worth noting is that the legal drinking age in my state at the time was 18.

So I was not surprised, I suppose, to see that several members of the team were sharing a cooler of beer during the tournament. I believe that at least some of them were 21 or older; perhaps not all. It was a beautiful warm fall Saturday and they were playing Frisbee. It could have been my own campus, so many years ago.

But what did surprise me a little was that they were drinking during a competition. I thought they might take it more seriously. I can’t imagine an athlete involved in any other intercollegiate sport having alcohol in the middle of a game. Truth be told, the team played best in the last game of the day!

I watched these goings-on from my chair in the shade, waiting to see how my son reacted, and how the team members that were drinking would interact with those who were not. There was absolutely no pressure put on anyone who was not interested to “just have one.” In fact, my son was laughing along with all of the others when the two teams played “Detonator” to determine first possession instead of flipping. I won’t describe this game – ask your own college-age son or daughter. Suffice it to say that it was funny to them – and I might have been hysterical at another time in my life. Last Saturday...not so much.

My son told me on the way home that the fellow he had driven down with was not drinking. Nonetheless, I was glad that he was driving home with me. I was also glad that he has little interest in "partying;" one less thing for me to worry about.