Why does underage drinking alcohol make teens feel cool?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortuantely that old chestnut 'peer pressure' might be to blame again in the arguments about why underage drinking remains attractive to teens. Often, if the truth be told, an individual teen on his or her own does not feel like experimenting with alcohol. They may have seen a friend/sibling try it and get home feeling very sick, having a bad stomach all night, a terrible headache/hangover the next day and sleeplessness. Girls may see that they no longer look glamorous when they are sick, with their hair all sticky and messed up, make up smeared, high heels lost and clumsy speech and movements. So why do they still do it? Well, if everyone else is either drinking it, or saying theyre drinking it, many don't have enough confidence or self-esteem to say no.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, it is because breaking rules and doing forbidden things feels cool.  I believe that this is, to some extent, true at all ages (at least I have not completely outgrown it at age 40), but I think that it is especially true for teens.

Teens are at a point where they feel (and often are) mature enough to have a lot of responsibilities.  At the same time, they have lots of rules imposed on them.  There is no point in life where there is such a dramatic difference between the amount of freedom you want and the amount of freedom you have (or feel like you have).

For that reason, breaking rules seems cool to many kids.  And that is a major reason why they drink, in my opinion.