Peer Pressure College Drinking Essay

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Due to the increased ease of access to alcohol, an increasing number of students especially in colleges and universities are involving themselves in alcohol. The purpose of the study is to study the effects of alcohol consumption on students’ academic performance. Two research questions are raised: 1) Why do students drink at an early age? 2) What are the effects of alcohol consumption on academic performance? Data from a questionnaire with 30 respondents from Sunway College and University was analyzed and interpreted. The results show that students drink due to peer pressure from their circle of friends. The study also found that students drinking will also have negative effects on academic performance.



Being successful in education is everything for a student, regardless of the background they came from. Opportunities for a student who obtained excellent results are wide in the society in or out of their country. For example, better career opportunities and job security. Of course, living in the 21st century, competition in careers is far more fierce than what everyone expected due to many being able to afford education and the rapid speed of technological advancements. Achievement in education is commonly measured by student examination but no proven studies show that great academic students are guaranteed to have better career opportunities. The academic performance of a student is affected by various factors such as age, gender, teaching environment, family income, etc. Numerous researchers have conducted studies on factors affecting students’ academic performance at different levels. (Graetz, 1995) gave the idea that a student’s academic performance is dependent heavily on the social status of the student’s parents or guardians. (Considine G. and Zappala G., 2002) spotted the same that a parent’s income or status will affect a student's academic performance. As claimed by (Minnesota, 2007) “the higher education performance depends on the academic performance of students. (Durden G.C. and Ellis L.V., cited Staffolani S. and Bratti M., 2002) noticed that “the measurement of students previous educational outcomes are the most important indicators of students future achievement”. This explains that the better the previous performance of a student, the better the academic performance of a student in the future.

Alcohol is an evaporative flammable colorless substance that can be found in beers, wines, and other drinks, and it is a drug that can be dependable (Gureje et al, 2007). Nigeria, a country in West Africa has the highest alcohol consumption due to its illegal manufacturing of alcohol (Chikere E.I. and Mayowa M.O., 2011; World Health Organization, 2004). When a student has excessive amounts of alcohol, this will cause positive signs in blood levels the next day. And this will affect their mood whether to attend class or not. Even if they attended classes, it would be difficult for them to absorb the information and remember it.


To achieve excellent academic performance, one must make sure he or she has qualities like determination, consistency, and full focus to achieve an excellent academic performance because it reflects on students' abilities. The word success itself brings lots of meanings and different individuals view success differently. However, the real definition of success means that one can achieve his or her desired goals regardless of minor or major goals they set for themselves. Despite how one describes success, achieving an excellent academic performance is all that matters for them rather than being educated. Consumption of alcohol by teenagers especially students in their college or university life became unacceptable. Not only does alcohol bring risk to health but it also has negative outcomes on academic performance. In education life, peer pressure has a strong impact on academic performance. Students’ involvement with different groups of friends will soon reflect who he or she becomes. If one engages with a group that always spends time with social activity (alcohol), he or she will eventually become one. This will cause the student to skip classes, not achieve good grades in exams, be involved in an accident (vehicle), drunk driving, vandalism, or even unwanted pregnancy.

Purpose statement

This research aims to study the effects of alcohol consumption on students' academic performance.

Research questions

    1. Why do students drink at an early age?
    2. What is the effect of alcohol consumption on academic performance?

Literature review

History / Background

According to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, brewed drinks made of rice, grapes, honey, and hawthorn berries were being processed in 7000 – 6650 BC. The first evidence of wine production is dated back to 6000 BC in Georgia. Evidence of alcohol also can be found from 3150 BC (ancient Egypt), 3000 BC (Babylon), 2000 BC (pre-Hispanic Mexico), and 1500 BC (Sudan). Dating back to 2100 BC, the usage of alcohol as medicine was been stated in the Egyptian and Sumerian texts, and alcoholic drinks are suggested to dying or depressed people in the Hebrew Bible. People of all classes and ages consumed beer as an everyday drink during the Middle Ages in Europe. Based on a post-conquest Aztec document, only people who were older than 70 years were freely allowed to consume local “wine” and it was not allowed in religious ceremonies. In 2018, the oldest brewery was found in a prehistoric cave near Haifa in Israel with 13,000 years old of residue.

Alcohol, sleep, and academic performance

According to research by Singleton and Wolfston (2009) on participants from Northeastern, they found out that student who drinks have poor sleep patterns which leads to affecting their academic performance. Gillespie et al. (2007) studied alcohol and drug abuse among students and obtained that 2 out of 5 students are binge drinkers. Based on the FBI, the 2004 arrests for drug abuse violations were greater than 1.25 million people (Gillespie et al, 2007). Crimes like breaking the law, sexual abuse, involving in fights are the cause of alcohol and drug abuse. Butler et al. (2011) studied the relationship between drinking and academics and found that surveys show that 40% of students binge drink regularly. Only when the students know they having an exam the next day, they will drink 38% less according to the results. Research also concluded that some students maintain their drinking habits although they know that they have classes the next day.


A term used to identify those with alcohol problems. Is commonly used for people who have uncontrolled consumption of alcohol and it is considered a type of illness. In 1979, a World Health Organization (WHO) committee disagreed with the usage of “alcoholism” in the medical field. Nacoa studied the use of the word throughout history to represent people will drinking problems. Studies showed that although few agencies used “alcoholic” or “alcoholism”, it is agreed that words like these best describe people with drinking problems. Due to social stigma, people tend to avoid medication help because of fear and shame and let their drinking problems turn serious.

Alcohol poisoning

Alcohol poisoning is a state where the alcohol causes the body’s functions to shut down. Even worse, the liver in our body will no longer detoxify alcohol in our body. This is caused by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol within a short period, and it's normal with binge drinkers. Alcohol poisoning can result in coma or worse. According to the CDC, at least 6 people die from alcohol poisoning in the United States every day. When blood alcohol content (BAC) is high in our body, we’re considering having alcohol poisoning. Although someone decides to stop drinking, the BAC can still increase for up to 40 minutes.

Peer pressure

According to a researcher at Temple University in Philadelphia, Laurence Steinberg, “There are two main features that seem to distinguish teenagers from adults in their decision-making”. “During early adolescence, in particular, teenagers are drawn to the immediate rewards of a potential choice”. When making decisions, teens are quick and accurate if they have the time to think. But when they’re deciding with less amount of time given, they are more likely to make decisions influenced by factors surrounding them like peers. Research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) discovered that teens are likely to take more risks in the presence of peers compared to when they’re alone. This concludes that teens may find it hard to control themselves, especially behavior when their friends are present.


How a student sees school, whether are they clickable with their teachers, and the amount of time and effort they will put into their studies are all affected by motivation. If one student is not motivated, it will be difficult for him or her to achieve good academic performance regardless of how good the teacher is or how well-known the institute is. Moreover, unmotivated students can affect another student's motivation (peer pressure) and will also affect the environment in the classroom. Motivation will drop as students climb from elementary school to high school. According to the National Research Council in a 2004 analysis, 40% of high school students reported being bored in school and this affects their motivation to study. In a 2006 survey of students dropping out, 70% of students dropped out due to a lack of motivation (Bridgeland, Dilulio & Morison, 2006). A student's own beliefs will also affect their motivation to study. For example, when a student thinks that he/she cannot do it, the brain will automatically signal that he/she can’t make it. On the other hand, when a student believes he or she can do it, they eventually can make it.

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20 respondents were asked at random to answer the survey and used to analyze the data. The respondents were all students from Sunway College. Among 20 respondents (11 males and 9 females), half (10) tasted alcohol and another half (10) had not tasted alcohol before. There were 11 respondents with a CGPA between 2.1 – 3.0 and 9 respondents with a CGPA of 3.1 – 4.0. The 20 respondents were also tested to identify whether they knew which drinks do not contain alcohol percentage. The result is that 12 respondents answered it correctly out of 20 respondents. 20 respondents were also been asked how frequently they drink and results showed 11 respondents don’t drink, 6 respondents drink 1 – 2 times a month and 3 respondents drink once a week. 20 respondents were also asked about their opinion on whether they think drinking will affect academic performance. 13 respondents think is a yes, 4 respondents think is a no and 3 respondents are not sure whether will it affect academic performance.


The researcher used a quantitative method by preparing an online survey through Google Forms. 6 questions were prepared to answer the research questions. These questions include gender, whether have they tasted alcohol, knowledge of alcoholic drinks, how frequently they drink, CGPA, and their opinion that alcohol affects academic performance.


A Google Form link consisting of 20 questionnaires is sent using social media platforms to friends. They’re required to complete all the questions related to alcohol and academic performance. The method used in this is survey quantitative methods. The concept of quantitative methods is used to discover the facts about social phenomena and measure reality. The methodology of this quantitative method is data are analyzed using numerical comparisons and statistical conclusions.

Finding and discussion

The main purpose of this whole study was to find the effects of alcohol consumption on students’ academic performance. A survey form made by using Google Forms which consisted of 6 questionnaires was sent to 30 students and their responses were collected and studied to answer the following research questions below:

    1. Do students drink at an early age?
    2. Will drinking alcohol affect students’ academic performance?

The students were asked their opinion on whether they think drinking will affect one's academic performance and were given multiple-choice answers. It was then found that most students think that drinking will affect one's performance in academic, with 21 students (70.0%) agreeing. The reason is that when a student drink, they will experience a hangover the next day, which affects their productivity. Especially when one has class the next day, he/she will choose to be absent. Because of absence, without knowing what his / her lecturer is teaching, it will affect his / her exams. Meanwhile, there’s a total of 5 students (16.7%) who think that drinking maybe will or not affect one's performance. Unfortunately, no reason was given by them. Interestingly is that out of 30 students, 4 students (13.3%) think it will not affect their performance because their reason is that drinking and study are not related. The only thing that affects is how one manages their time. If one has classes or exams the next day or the following days, he/she can choose to not drink, therefore it will not affect academic performance. Singleton and Wolfston (2009) found out that student who drinks have poor sleep patterns which lead to affecting their academic performance.

The students were asked how frequently they drank and were given multiple choice. Surprisingly, it was found that 16 students (53.3%) don’t drink. This reason is because the students in this survey are mostly between the ages of 18 and 19. This means they’re either still living with parents or they just think not the right time to touch one of those. Meanwhile, among the 30 students, 11 students (36.7%) have the habit of drinking at least 1 – 2 times a month. This is because they planned to catch up at least once in bars or clubs to enjoy themselves. Last but not least, there are 3 students (10%) who drink every week (Fri / Sat). Of these 14 students, most of them are friends or in the same group. One of the reasons this happened is because of peer pressure. When one who doesn’t drink often sees his / her friend hang out every weekend enjoying partying, they will give it a try. And if he/she is addicted to it, they will go back frequently. Butler et al. (2011) studied the relationship between drinking and academics and found that surveys show that 40% of students binge drink regularly.

30 students were asked regarding their current CGPA for their exams. For the data collected, 17 students (56.7%) scored in the range of 2.1 – 3.0 for their CGPA. This is because to enter a degree in the following year, most courses require a 2.0 – 2.3 CGPA. On the other hand, students feel they have more time to spend on other things rather than focusing on academics. Next, there were 13 students (43.3%) who scored 3.1 – 4.0 CGPA for their exams. Among these 13 students, female students consist more than male students. This is probably because females tend to be more hardworking than males if looking generally. Another reason is because of motivation. According to the National Research Council in a 2004 analysis, 40% of students reported being bored in school and this affects their motivation to study. This will lead to them having no interest in achieving a higher CGPA.

The students are then asked if have they tried before alcohol. Half of the students asked tried alcohol in their life (50%). This happened because most of the beverages nowadays contain a few percent of alcohol. For example during the Chinese New Year, Anglia is the most drink beverage among other brands. Anglia contained less than 1% of alcohol. Interestingly, 14 students (46.7%) have not tried alcohol in life. Among 14 students, some Muslim friends and friends of friends did this survey. But some non-Muslim students also show no interest in alcohol because alcohol is bad for their health like the liver and if unlucky it will cause alcohol poisoning. According to the CDC, when blood alcohol content (BAC) is high in our body, we’re considering having alcohol poisoning. There are at least 6 people in the United States who die because of alcohol poisoning each day.

The students are tested on their knowledge of how well they know alcoholic beverages. Among the four beverages, one of the four is the Schweppes does not contain any percent alcohol. The students are required to choose the one without alcohol. Among 30 students, 20 students (66.7%) got the correct answer. This is because either they had tried Schweppes before or they know what Carlsberg, Belvedere, and Martell are. 6 students (20%) and 4 students (13.3%) chose Belvedere and Martell. Both of these hard liquors are obtained in clubs or bars. Therefore, we know that these 10 students are not interested in alcohol.

Much research has been conducted regarding teen’s alcohol consumption and their academic performance. To answer the first question, “Why Do Students Drink at Early Ages”, we found out that this is due to peer pressure from their circle of friends. A student will face different ups and downs during the life of being a student, and when we see one of our friends enjoying himself/herself, we will feel curious or want to be like them. Thus, he or she will follow in their footsteps because influence of friends. To answer the second question, “What Is the Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Academic Performance”, we found out that students will face a fall in their academic. This is due to skipping class because of hangovers and changes in sleeping patterns which lead them to have difficulty paying attention in classes.



In this research, there are a few limitations. First and foremost, this survey was done among the Sunway and Monash students. Thus, we can’t generalize that most of the students are drinking by using the 30 students as respondents. Next, the survey is done by using an online survey. This means students will experience limitations in answering. Last but not least, the study looks at the CGPA of the students without considering the factors such as their levels of IQ. This does not directly look at the relationship between alcohol consumption and its effects on academic performance.


We hope future studies will consider the limitations of this study and overcome them. Research should be expended on secondary school students as alcohol consumption is now being considered by secondary students. Furthermore, future studies should include video interviews to gauge the reasoning given by the students. Finally, future studies should also conduct experiments to determine the relationship between the presence of alcohol consumption by students and the effects on academic performance.

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Peer Pressure College Drinking Essay. (2024, February 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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