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<< News >>

National News / Opinion

Friday, 20 April, 2007 10:26 PM

College Students: A Lesson on Risk Management

by Kendra Dickens
ar7816@wayne.edu

I looked up a dozen quotes on risk and they all say go for it, take chances, explore. But when your life and longevity is on the line, I say why risk it?

Since 1993, the number of college drinkers has remained the same. It’s the intensity of excessive drinking and rates of drug use that has increased dramatically. The trouble however, is not just in the glass. It’s the risk-taking attitudes formed that hurt us the most.

I say us because I enjoyed college most for the lifestyle. I put partying before needed sleep, schemes before real studying and a fantasy life before reality. I made decisions on a whim and was always uncertain of the outcome. People could count on me to be curious, spontaneous and explosive. I welcomed any challenge and invited all attention.

In 2003, I got my first DUI and it hurt, but not bad enough. By 2005, I got another one and that’s when I started to feel the pain. Not just the pain pounding in head and rumbling in my gut, but a disappointment and a shame that I could see even in my mother’s eyes. If I was not affected by the pain in my pride, Granholm would be sure I felt pain in my pockets.

The penalties for drinking and driving are unforgettable. You are instructed to pay a “Driver Responsibility Fee” for two years in a row. Then there’s court costs, attorney fees, probation expenses, community service, counseling, AA. Just when you think you’re done, here comes the reinstatement fee, the points and increase in insurance rates. When I got tired of paying fees, I stopped. Then my wages, checking account and state refund was garnished. I had spent a life savings on risk.

Never again. As I mature, gambling doesn’t seem as attractive. The personal wager is too high and the odds of success are slim. I see the instant gratification I yearned for as temporary while wise choices can be beneficial for a lifetime.

Of all the advice and all the lectures, one quote I stand behind is by Charles Dubois. He says the important thing is to be able to sacrifice who we are for what we could become. When we manage our behavior and control our wild side, we leave room for something better—ourselves.

 

 

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