PrepWell Podcast


Ep. 206 | Why Teenagers Should Not Drink Alcohol

Underage drinking in our society has become a given. An expected social norm. I make the case for another option.

Show Notes:

In today's episode, I address the issue of underage drinking.

I've been reluctant to speak on this topic publicly because of my controversial stance.

However, after my son's friend almost died in a DUI incident over the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided it was time to let my perspective be heard.

Unlike some other episodes, this might be a good one to listen to with your teenager.

It's a bit longer than usual, but the subject required more time to cover.

Show Transcript:

Hello friends, and welcome back to the PrepWell Podcast. Today I want to make the strongest case I can to teenagers in particular to not drink alcohol or to stop drinking alcohol. If you've already started down that path, if you're a teenager or you're in your early twenties, you may still have a shot to make this happen. If you're in your thirties or you're a parent listening to this in your forties or fifties, you're probably already pretty set in your ways.

And I'm not sure that anything I have to say would move you off the ball, but I hope it might for your children. I started thinking about this topic a few weeks ago and whether or not I even wanted to bring this up on the podcast and I decided to go ahead with it after a few of my son's friends nearly died in a drunk driving accident just a few days ago where the 19 year old driver who was drunk, allegedly wink, wink, took a corner at high speed, rolled the car over, ejected two of his three friends from the car, and then proceeded to flee the scene where, for all he knew, his friends were left to die. That incident, which left one of my son's friends in an induced coma, was just too close to home to ignore. So I decided I would go ahead with it. The other reason I decided to bring this topic up, that is the topic of teenagers not drinking alcohol is because I've never heard anyone suggest this as an option ever before.

When is the last time you heard someone or someone prominent promote the idea of a teenager on their own deciding not to drink alcohol? It just doesn't happen. It's not even part of the conversation. I have four sons and in my business I traffic in a lot of teenage content. On the academic side, on the industry side, on the social media side.

And I've never heard anyone in any format come out and say that not drinking alcohol is not only the better or the best option, but an option at all. It's almost as if it's such a given that everyone will eventually drink alcohol, that parents and society and our culture have ceded this ground and have either ignored or in some cases tacitly endorsed the fact that drinking alcohol is just what happens when you grow up.

It's just part of life. Well, I want to put a voice out there that does not give up this ground and that puts out a simple common sense, clear headed and comprehensive argument against drinking alcohol, in my opinion. If you look at the pros and cons of drinking alcohol, especially for teenagers, there's no question that abstaining from alcohol will have significant positive long term effects on their lives.

This is absolutely incontrovertible, which is why I want teenagers to at least know that the option exists. How many will actually take me up on it Become nondrinkers? I don't know. Maybe 2%. 3%, if I'm lucky. Probably the same percentage of students who take me up on the idea that reading is the single best thing you can do to become smarter academically and do well on the SAT.

That's probably also a 2 to 3 percenter. Unfortunately, by not drinking alcohol along with reading and exercise are three of the most potent weapons in anyone's arsenal when it comes to living a successful and productive life. So it is not something to be ignored or left for teenagers to figure out on their own. Now, reading and exercise are monster issues in their own right.

But let's stick with the issue of alcohol for the time being. I don't drink alcohol. I never have. I never will. It's not a medical issue. It's not a religious conviction. It's just a code that I've chosen to live by from a very young age. In fact, until now, I've never actually stopped to think deeply about all the reasons why I never tried even a sip of alcohol.

In fact, I've never even been tempted to try alcohol. I'm not even remotely curious about all of its alleged magical powers. If I had to come up with a reason or reasons why I don't drink alcohol, I'm sure it's multilayered. But the two main reasons, as far as I can tell why I never started drinking alcohol as a teenager are number one.

I didn't like seeing how adults, including my own parents, acted under the influence of alcohol. And two, since I was always a leader and very self-assured among my peers, I was rarely subjected to the peer pressure that gets most teenagers when they're most vulnerable. In my case, I showed no vulnerability and thus never fell prey to those trying to lure me into their drinking games.

I held my conviction early. I didn't deviate from the path and never looked back and no one ever gave it another thought. It was just my ideal. Now, over the course of the last 3540 years, there have certainly been more reasons for why I still don't drink alcohol and I will attempt to articulate them today. But let's first start with present day.

I have four sons, 221 year olds. They're twins. They're juniors in college. I have a 19 year old, a freshman in college and a 14 year old a freshman in high school. So as you can imagine, I am right in the thick of it. I've got four sons who span the ages of 14 where it's illegal to drink alcohol.

To 19, where though still illegal. Most people think it's just a given that you do and should drink alcohol all the way to 21 where according to the law, it's an absolute, unfettered, unrestrained go time. It's time to rock and roll. The truth is, I have no idea if any of my sons drink alcohol or not. I've never told them that they could.

I've never told them that they couldn't or shouldn't. I've never asked if they do or they don't drink. I've never seen them drink. I've never seen them drunk. And I'm sure most of you were out there snickering and thinking to yourselves, Duh, Of course your kids drink alcohol. How naive are you? Have you been living under a rock?

It would be weird if they weren't drinking. And you might be right. They may be just like 90% of other foolish teenagers out there when it comes to underage drinking of alcohol. But perhaps, maybe they're a bit more discreet than most teens when it comes to their parents. I don't really know. Whatever the case, I haven't seen it.

I haven't pushed it. I haven't even inquired about it. And I'm not suggesting that's the right or the wrong strategy. I'm just letting you know where I stand. I hope they don't drink alcohol for the reasons I'm going to lay out in this episode. And if they do drink and they're listening to this, I hope they'll reconsider whether it's really the path they want to take.

And of course, by extension, I hope there are still some prep lovers out there who don't drink. Or if they do that, maybe they'll reconsider after listening to this episode. So let me jump back to my own kids for a minute. As I said, to date, I have neither forbidden my sons from drinking or even brought up the topic at all.

In fact, I have intentionally not given them a big lecture on why they shouldn't drink or told them. I don't drink and you shouldn't either. Why? Because, in my opinion, shock of shocks parental lectures don't seem to get much traction with teenagers. Or it backfires. And they get even more curious about the thing that you're telling them not to do.

And they want to do it more. I might call my parenting style strategic ambiguity. I've never explicitly forbade them from drinking alcohol to avoid any sneaking around nonsense or issuing empty threats and basically left it up to them to decide on their own. A risky move, perhaps, but something I felt comfortable with, in part because they have all demonstrated long track records of good decisions.

Moral, ethical decisions. In other words, I trust them. What I did, instead of telling them that they shouldn't drink alcohol, is model what I consider the best path to take myself. That is, I don't drink. And the hope is that if my sons respect me and my choices and want to follow the path that I have chosen and that my closest friends have chosen, that they will come to that conclusion on their own.

I'd rather that they decide on their own what they want to do with their bodies and their lives, as opposed to me dictating what they should do. I just couldn't see the you're not allowed to drink rule getting a lot of traction. It's unenforceable. It seems petty and cliche and primarily sends a signal that I don't trust them to make smart decisions.

In fact, in my estimation, laying down the law would likely have the opposite effect. Instead, I trust them to make the right decisions for good or for bad. On the other hand, I know plenty of parents who have not only seen their teenagers drink and drunk, but often glorify the practice, quasi endorse the practice, allow their kids to invite their underage friends over to drink alcohol as long as it's in the basement and even get drunk with their kids and their kids friends.

And they think it's funny. Which is a whole different topic unto itself. As with a lot of these issues, there are a few ways to approach this. Number one, forbid your teenager from drinking alcohol ever. And see where that gets you. Number two, allow, endorse and even partake in drinking to excess with your kids and see how that goes.

Or number three, take, in my opinion, a more challenging approach, a more nuanced approach, and try to model, trust and educate your teenager to make the right decisions on their own. So from here on out, I'd like to lay out my rationale for living an alcohol free life. And the goal here is to stop teenagers from starting, if that's possible, and or to convince other teenagers or 20 somethings who may have started drinking already to stop.

That's my goal. As outlandish and out of touch and puritanical and unrealistic as it might sound. That's what I'm going for. Because in my opinion, this message that being a non drinker is even an option. Has not been spread nearly enough in fact, it hasn't been spread at all as far as I'm concerned, and that teenagers deserve to hear from someone who thinks differently on this topic.

I simply refuse to see the ground that every teenager is going to experiment with alcohol and likely become a regular consumer of alcohol into adulthood, if not a motivated consumer of alcohol. And don't even get me started on what happens in college. I just can't accept that this should not be the status quo and something tacitly accepted if not encouraged.

This pathway should not be a foregone conclusion. We are literally leading our teenagers to the slaughter. Somebody has to make the case that there is another option and that, yes, even though drinking alcohol is the popular thing to do and the thing that our entire culture seems to revolve around, that there are choices, life altering choices that can be made by you right now.

So let me run through a list of a few reasons why I've never tried alcohol and will never try alcohol and will continue to be a teetotaler. For those of you who don't know that word, the word teetotaler means someone who does not drink alcohol. These reasons, I would say, are roughly in priority order in terms of importance, but there's not much daylight between them.

Every single one is important. Number one, control. I like to be in control of my faculties at all times, my brain and my body. I never want to put myself in a situation where I don't know where I am. I don't know where I was. I don't know what's happening. How to respond, how to help someone if they're in trouble.

I like having my wits about me at all times, especially in this day and age, where chaos and danger and bedlam seem to lurk around every corner. If you live in a big city and or you are a female anywhere and you're getting wasted out in town, you're putting yourself in extreme danger every single time you do so.

Do not put yourself in this situation. Number two, bad decision making. Once you go down the road and you start drinking alcohol, your decision making is obviously impaired to the point oftentimes of making life altering decisions. When you are drunk, you make bad decisions. Period. It's what you do. There should be no question about this. So when you drink and get drunk, you are hoping that the poor decisions that you will make because that's a given, will not put your life or anyone else's life in danger.

That is a pretty big bet to make two or three times a week. The odds are stacked against you. When my son's underage friends were drinking last week and they made that fateful decision to get in a car and drive drunk, they were making that decision under the influence of alcohol. It was obviously a bad decision. It was the wrong decision, but it wasn't a bad decision to them at the time because they were drunk.

It was a perfectly fine decision for them. And I often hear people after the fact saying things like, I can't believe they did that. Why not just get an Uber? Why not just sleep over? Yes, that sounds reasonable to somebody who is not drunk when you're drunk, you lose the ability to make such a rational decision. In fact, you're often emboldened to make especially dumb decisions.

So how do you prevent making such life altering decisions? Don't put yourself in that position to begin with. Don't drink. Don't get drunk. Number three, Health. A healthy lifestyle is one of my top priorities. I want to live long and well. Alcohol is a toxin. It wreaks havoc with your body. It alters your brain function and your behavior.

It makes you take risks that you otherwise wouldn't take. Like, Hey, guys, let's jump off a second story roof into the five foot deep pool. I'm sure we'll be fine. That's not a great decision for your health. If you're an athlete, especially an elite athlete or an aspiring elite athlete, why would you possibly do something that is so detrimental to your health?

Are you so elite that setting your body back like this won't affect you? Are you really that good? I doubt it. Number four, productivity. I like making forward progress every day. I want to be productive. People ask me all the time, How were you able to do all these things in one lifetime, whether becoming a Navy SEAL or working hundred hour weeks for Goldman Sachs or having four kids or working as a firefighter?

Starting businesses. Getting on Shark Tank two times. These things happen because I make forward progress every day. I don't have to deal with the body wrecking hangovers that set me back over and over and over again. I don't waste money, time, energy and brain cells. On consuming alcohol and dealing with its aftermath. Want to be more successful and productive?

Don't drink alcohol. Number five Financial. I don't like wasting money. If I had to add up the amount of money over the last 35 years that I did not spend on alcohol and alcohol related expenses, it's got to be well over $100,000. And for some of my more ambitious friends and peers, that number could triple or quadruple that.

$100,000 is nothing. It assumes an average spend on alcohol and alcohol related expenses of maybe $50 a week over time. That's nothing. These days you can barely get three drinks for $50. Imagine what you could have done with all that money. If you took all that money that you would have spent on alcohol and put it in an S&P 500 index fund along the way for 35 years, you'd have over $1,000,000 easy.

Number six, Ruination of Lives over time, whether at my job as a Navy SEAL or firefighter or as an everyday citizen. I have personally witnessed how alcohol, both in its use and misuse, absolutely destroys the lives of strangers, teammates, family members, relationships, livelihoods, businesses, communities. It absolutely ruins people's lives, whether through health issues, marital infidelities, financial mistakes, physical injuries and traumas, family implosions, car accidents, career derailments, and just chronic, prolonged lack of productivity.

All of these things are exacerbated if not initiated when alcohol is involved, and we all know it. How about crime? Listen to the percentage of crimes that involve the use of alcohol robberies, 15% Intimate partner violence. 63% involve alcohol. Sexual assault. 37%. Physical assaults 46%. Percentage of homicides involving alcohol 46%. Almost 40 people per day die in drunk driving incidents.

40 people every single day. Alcohol ruins lives. Number seven I don't need a social lubricant. I know one of the go to reasons why people drink alcohol is because it lowers their inhibitions. It numbs them. It takes the edge off what could be an otherwise awkward social exchange that is, they are more willing to strike up a conversation with a member of the opposite sex if they are buzzed or drunk.

Otherwise, they just can't do it. It's to intimidating. It's too scary. What if the guy or the girl isn't interested? What if he or she doesn't reciprocate? What if he or she gives you the cold shoulder? If this is the reason you're drinking alcohol to smooth over a potential 22nd period of awkwardness or, God forbid, rejection, despite all of the evidence where this might lead, then you have some serious soul searching to do.

Instead of leaning on alcohol to help you overcome any social jitters or insecurity you might have when it comes to meeting new people. How about you try this crazy idea? Get in shape. Eat well, dress well. Make money. Go to a good college, get a job and comb your hair. Voila. Instant and immediate attraction to the opposite sex.

No alcohol needed. It's like magic. And yes, I know all of those things take a lot more time, effort and planning than a keg stand or pounding three beers in the parking lot on the way into the bar. But is it really worth it? Number eight, alcohol is a gateway drug. Alcohol leads to bad decision making, period. It leads to more drinking.

It leads to drugs. It leads to eating bad food, to sexual indiscretions, to risking personal safety. It leads to gambling. It leads to cavorting with unsavory characters. It leads to fights, arguments, misunderstandings, petty crimes, DUIs, vandalism, and worse. Not all of these things are premeditated or life threatening, but they lead you down the path where all of these transgressions become more likely.

Why put yourself in that neighborhood? Number nine, birds of a feather. The people I look up to the most, my mentors, my best friends don't drink alcohol. Coincidence? I don't think so. The people I trust, I admire, I look up to and I love the most. Don't drink alcohol. I want to follow their lead. I believe that they are doing life right.

And I want to do the same. Whether it's people I follow on social media or podcasts or read about in books or connect with on a daily basis. Obviously, family and friends. I want to associate with those people. And one of the things that these people share is the absence of alcohol in their lives. Sometimes they come to this conclusion later in life after some great calamity or soul searching or just coming to their senses.

Either way, they have found success without alcohol in their lives. Why not start there? Number ten. Taste Alcohol tastes disgusting. We all know this to be true. At least it did before. Many of you chose to power through the disgusting taste with the hope and the promise that you would eventually acquire a taste for it. Oh, goody. You made it.

Congratulations. Wasn't that a big milestone in your life? Choking down the disgusting taste of beer. Until one day you finally arrive. You finally get to the point where you weren't repulsed by the taste of the thing that could ruin your life. What a great day that was. Alcohol is a toxin. It's a poison for your body. But the pressure to drink is so strong that you're willing to fight through that disgusting taste to get to the promised land.

It's like saying, Hey, dude, guess what? You've got to try this heroin stuff. It's possible. It's not likely that it will really mess up your life and maybe even ruin you. But trust me, all you have to do is endure 10 to 15 painful, self-inflicted needle sticks before you get the hang of it. It's going to hurt in the beginning because you're not going to be good at giving yourself injections.

But don't worry, you will get better at it. One day you'll be able to shoot up heroin into your arms and between your toes, your neck, almost anywhere without even a second thought. It will become second nature. Believe me, I've been there. It's worth it. Are you ready to get started? How many people would sign up for that program?

Number 11. Filling voids. In addition to the social lubricant excuse. Unfortunately, in my opinion, many people turn to alcohol because they are trying to fill a void in their lives. And the alcohol provides the escape. The alcohol numbs your brain and allows you to go to la la land. At least for a few hours, where you don't have to think about the void or the voids.

I know this is often referred to as, quote, having a good time, but it's really just masking something going on below the surface. These voids could be related to physical pain, childhood or sexual trauma. Body insecurity. Jealousy. Social awkwardness. The desire to fit in. Envy. Peer pressure. Unmet expectations. Confusion. Fear of the future. And the list goes on and on and on.

Alcohol is a way. Sometimes temporary, sometimes long term, to deal with these voids. Now, I'm not suggesting that this is an obvious or explicit connection that most people make in the moment. Most people don't sit back and think to themselves, You know what? I have a crappy dead end job. I just broke up with my girlfriend, so it's high time to fill some voids.

Grab me a rum and coke. Sometimes this happens and people actually say the quiet part out loud. But I think most of the time these voids are internalized. They're deep seated, they're unconscious. And alcohol is the boop easy button to make it all go away. So here's a challenge that I'd love for anyone to take before they have their next drink.

Whether it's with your buddies in the basement on Friday night or out in town at a holiday party. Before you pour that drink or crack that can think to yourself, Why am I about to have this alcoholic drink or drinks right now? What void am I trying to fill right now? What Insecurity. What doubt? What problem am I trying to make go away?

Even if for the next few hours, by having this drink by numbing my senses. That is one hell of a question to answer. You've got to be one self-aware and honest person to actually admit that to yourself. Give it a try. Number 12. I have voids. We all have voids. I just choose to fill them with non-alcohol related activities.

Generally speaking, knock on wood, I don't have any voids that are so pernicious and so tough to handle that I feel the need to search out numbing agents. Obviously, alcohol is the most common and sadly accepted or even glorified numbing agent, but there are others. Weed. Meth. Energy drinks like Red Bull and Bhang. Cocaine. Tranq pills. Heroin. Ecstasy.

Molly. They're all out there. I've been a firefighter for 18 years. I've seen them all. I just don't feel the need, the desire, or even the curiosity to seek them out. Why? Because I try to live an honest life without regrets. And I've managed to find many other outlets to work through anxiety, self-doubt, fear of the future. And those are primarily physical outlets.

Exercise, working out intermittent fasting, breath holding cold plunges, sauna swimming, rocking, stretching, as well as professional outlets, entrepreneurship, parenthood, building businesses, expressing creativity, helping others on their journeys. These are all outlets that I pursue to deal with the inevitable voids that creep up in my life. Number 13. Deferred Gratification. I spend considerable energy avoiding what will feel good now when I know that it will have long term negative consequences in the future.

Physically, financially, socially. Otherwise, I constantly try to keep my eyes on the horizon. As a general rule, I have a very hard time borrowing from the future for a temporary fix. Today. I'm not saying that's easy to do, but it's worth considering. Drinking alcohol may feel good for the next 3 to 6 hours, but it's doing, you know, long term favors in the future.

Number 14. I'm a contrarian. I tend to be pretty comfortable by not doing things that most other people are doing. So if every other person, with a few exceptions in my fraternity or in my Navy SEAL platoon or on my college basketball team or in my Goldman Sachs analyst class or on my fire crew is drinking, I have no problem.

Not drinking. I have no problem being an outlier, particularly in activities that are suspect. I don't care. And the truth is, for those who are afraid to zig when everyone else is zagging, those who are zagging don't really care what you do as much as you think they do. After all, they're probably going to forget what went on anyway, so why sweat it?

And lastly, number 15. Superpowers, alcohol abuse and its many forms is so widespread and so accepted and such a given and slows so many people down that I consider not drinking to be a human superpower. It's a literal superpower because when other people are ruining relationships and blowing job prospects and damaging their bodies and putting themselves in harm's way and sleeping till noon with a hangover, you are making dramatic progress.

You are separating yourself from them. And when this happens year after year after year, the separation gets bigger and bigger and bigger. Until one day you are on a completely different planet from many of your peers and they're wondering how you got there. Okay. Those are a few reasons why I chose not to drink alcohol and why I hope you'll consider the same.

And my question is, do any of those reasons resonate with you? If you do drink alcohol, do they resonate enough with you to stop? And I do want to acknowledge some of the more common arguments for drinking alcohol. Lest it seems that I am really out of touch with reality. So what are some of the arguments for drinking alcohol?

Well, number one, fitting in, this is the classic excuse that seems to be the most prevalent among teenagers and young people. All of my friends are doing it and I want to or I need to fit in. All of my buddies are drinking and I want to bond with them. Are you even aware that this is likely one of your primary reasons for drinking?

I don't know. This deep psychological desire to fit in is a part of human nature. Unfortunately, in this particular case, and I will admit, this is a tough temptation to overcome as a teenager or someone in your early twenties. I appreciate that one of your top priorities in life is finding a group of friends or teammates or classmates whom you fit in with, whom you can bond with, whom you connect with.

This is a fact of life. We need this sense of belonging. Fair enough. I get it. I've lived through this. My response to this argument is that you can be friends, you can bond, you can be part of the group. Even if you don't drink, you can do it. You won't be kicked off the island. In fact, dirty little secret.

Your status may go up in the group if they perceive you as someone who is confident enough to stand by your convictions. And that means you don't put them down for drinking. Don't make them feel bad. Don't try to be holier than thou. Don't even necessarily convince them not to drink. Just go along for the ride and do your best to keep people safe.

You're not there to. To solve the world's problems. Do your time as a designated driver. Look out for them. There's plenty of bonding to be had without the getting wasted or blackout drunk part. Believe me, I've been in groups and on teams in organizations whose culture oftentimes revolves around alcohol, whether that's with my Navy SEAL platoon, my college fraternity, secret societies, fire company, parent groups, business school classmates.

Most of these groups engage in alcohol related behaviors to varying degrees and I, as a non drinker, never had a single problem getting along. Bonding, networking, building friendships with them ever. Yes, it took a little bit of getting used to. The very first time I said no thanks to someone who offered me a beer or a cocktail, but not that long.

Nobody cared. I wasn't ostracized. I wasn't marginalized. I wasn't disinvited to the parties. I wasn't given the stink eye. It's just how I rolled. So I encourage you if you actually don't really want to drink, but you feel like you don't want to let the guys down or let the girls down by not drinking with them. Give it a try.

That is, give not drinking a try. My guess is that after a minute two, they'll be over and on to the next thing. You just have to hang in there for a few seconds and it will pass and you'll never have to worry about it again. That will just become your deal. Reason number two it takes the edge off.

The other common reason for drinking alcohol, which we've noted earlier, is to take the proverbial edge off when it comes to social interactions. That is, you're about to go to a house party, a frat party, a block party, and you don't really know too many people at the party. And you need to loosen up. You need something to reduce the social anxiety, the nervousness about mixing it up in a crowd that you're not really sure about.

You want to lower your inhibitions so that you're friendlier. You're more open, you're more apt to fit in. We call that a social lubricant. I get it. I'm an introvert. I don't love going into a crowd of strangers and yucking it up. It's awkward, it's uncomfortable, and it's a lot easier to handle if your head is a little hazy and you feel a bit less inhibited.

Check. I get it. From what I understand, getting a little buzz on may help in these situations. My question is whether this short period of discomfort in fitting in right away is worth the cost of drinking alcohol, because we all know that the first drink or two that gets you buzzed, if you will, leads to a third or a fourth drink.

And that's when things go off the rails. It's pretty rare that someone drinks one drink just to get a little happy, just to help them during their entry into the scene. And then they stop for the rest of the night. That doesn't happen. The buzz allows you to drop your guard, which in turn allows you to accept the third, the fourth, the fifth drink.

Remember, your decision making powers are altered. And then that one drink lubricant turns into you spending the night watered up on the floor and a pool of your own vomit in some random bathroom with your shirt wrapped around your head. It's a slippery slope. So my advice here is to get over yourself and suck it up. Be willing to be uncomfortable, to be vulnerable for ten or 15 minutes when you walk into a new social scene and give yourself some time and room to operate or try this one out.

Become such a force of nature, such a savage athlete or debater or researcher or performer or military operator that no one questions you ever. They're scared to you operate at such a high level that no one messes with you. Not drinking turns into a power move instead of a point of contention and everyone backs off his. However, you're unsure of yourself and nervous and wishy washy and the crowd starts to smell blood in the water.

They will go in for the kill. They will break you. They will browbeat you until you relent. And you take your first drink. And then they win because they want you to go down with them. They don't want to see someone take the higher ground because it reminds them that they're going down the wrong road and it eats at them.

Now, another alternative to this, which I've used many times, is to show up to these affairs late when everyone's already lit up and then no one knows or cares what's going on. Everybody's happy. In other words, they're buzzed, drunk, faded, liquored up, battered, plastered, charred, bombed up, wrecked, oiled, tipsy. Everyone's hugging everybody else and greeting you. And the social awkwardness never happens because the night is already in full swing.

And then you spend the night observing the chaos happening around you, laughing, making sure your friends are safe and securing your position. As someone who was at the party. Well, they remember whether you were wasted or not. Probably not, because they were wasted themselves. And the last reason number three, I'm a moderate drinker. Some people claim that they like to drink socially with friends and that they rarely take it too far.

Maybe it's one beer, maybe it's a glass of wine just to fit in. But then they stop. It's hard to knock for this strategy because they're acting in moderation and presumably not putting themselves or other people in harm's way. The only caution here is this slippery slope argument. If you can really be disciplined and not go over to the dark side consistently, then maybe you're okay.

I just worry about happens when and if things get out of control. If you think you have the system down, then go for it. I would say that this strategy works almost exclusive for older adults who have more life experience and maturity. This is very tough to do as a teenager and the environments that you're going to find yourselves in.

So what does all this mean? My hope in dropping this podcast is that more teenagers decide to be nondrinkers. I know that's a lot to ask, but somebody has to offer it as an option. I know in today's day and age that this is an extreme position, an unrealistic position, and with the way the world is going these days, I'm more than happy to be an outlier in this regard.

If this means you're an outlier, take being an outlier all day long. And what I really hope to discourage is the generic, unthinking, knee jerk. I'm going to get wasted because that's what all of my friends are doing and I don't want to be different, so I may as well just fall in line. Excuse This is a hard excuse for me to accept.

If you want to be a high performer, if you're okay being like everybody else, one of the masses, then do what the masses do. Sit around the poker table, get feted like everybody else, stumble home like everybody else, feel hung over like everybody else. Fall behind like everybody else. Build a habit of poor health like everybody else. Bad decision making and risk taking.

Just like everybody else at Preble Academy, we pride ourselves in not being like everybody else. Whether that's how you prepare for the S.A.T. or decide on extracurricular activities or summer jobs. And I hope you'll consider extending that uniqueness strategy to the issue of alcohol consumption. That's all I've got for you today, folks. I know this is a little bit longer than usual, but I think it warranted it.

Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for your continued support. In case you didn't know, this podcast supports prep academies, Online mentoring program where high schoolers and their parents receive weekly videos. For me, where I break down important topics and give timely advice about college admissions, particularly for top tier colleges, service academies, and for ROTC and athletic scholarships.

Many parents who listen to this podcast already have their high schools enrolled in proper academy, which is great. If you don't yet, please consider enrolling them. Registration is only open during freshman or sophomore year. After that, we no longer accept new students. So you have a freshman or sophomore in high school and you like what you're hearing in these podcasts and you'd like to get more content like this tailored specifically for your child for their specific grade and with their specific goals in mind.

Go to and enroll today. If you know a parent with a middle schooler or high schooler that might find this helpful, please share the episode with them and give us a rating if you have a chance. Word of mouth and positive ratings help our podcast reach a much wider audience. If you have questions, comments or an idea for an upcoming episode, please reach out to me by email.

DM on Instagram. Check out our blog or our Facebook page. Connect with me on LinkedIn. I would love to hear from you. Until next week, Goodbye. Good luck and never stop preparing.

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If you want to support the show, here are three immediate steps to take. Subscribe to the podcast where ever you listen to podcasts

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  5. Enroll your 9th or 10th grader in the program

Podcast Host:

PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank (2X), etc.

Learn More About PrepWell:

Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.

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