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    Categories: Commentary

Pot and booze in college — a GPA killer combo?

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By Julianne Mosher
Campus News

Earlier this year, researchers at Yale and the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, released a study that surprised some college students at Stony Brook University.

The study published on March 8 is titled, “Combo of pot and booze is a real GPA downer,” and it’s just as funny as it sounds. According to this “new” study, the grades of those who drank moderately or heavily but smoked little pot did not suffer as much as students who added heavy marijuana use to their drinking.

The researchers at Yale and at the Institute of Living followed 1,100 Connecticut college freshmen over four semesters. The students would answer online surveys about their monthly marijuana and alcohol use, which led researchers to separate the group into three “clusters.”

According to this survey, they concluded that the students who drank and smoked pot suffered the worst grades.

Click to expand.

Godfrey Pearlson, professor of psychiatry and neurobiology, and senior author of the study said, “Doing a lot of both drugs had a significant impact on lower grades in our study, and in other studies, with the number of leaves of absences and dropping out of school.”

But students at SBU think this study is simply ridiculous.

“Noah B.” said that although the research outwardly stated that the drug combined with booze can cause lower grades, he feels that it helps him more in school.

“If I didn’t have weed or alcohol to turn to, I would go crazy in my own head,” he said. “Sometimes I miss one assignment and it feels like the end of the world… smoking weed reminds me that it isn’t.”

Although at first glance the study tells us that Mary J and some booze will make us all lose our 4.0s, it does mention that the small group of individuals who moderated the two eventually saw their overall GPAs improve.

There’s a quote, “Write drunk, edit sober” that’s often attributed to Ernest Hemingway. Although the real origin of this quote is unknown, if the great writer did once mutter the words, he could be onto something. Some students actually do better when they’re under the influence of a substance (don’t do anything crazy, though… I’m not promoting you to become addicted in the name of creativity).

“Demi G.” said that drinking a little bit of sangria helped her ace a grade and made for a funny story in the end.

“Getting drunk on sangria and blasting ‘Immigrants’ from the Hamilton mixtape once helped me power through the last part of my final project an hour and a half before it was due,” she said.

Overall, this survey was hysterical to read. Looking at it with a first glance, I wondered to myself, “Why is Yale wasting money like this? This isn’t new news.”

Drugs and alcohol influence people differently. Some people get addicted; some people don’t aren’t affected at all. Does drinking and smoking make students “dumb?” Maybe… but there are a large number of people who succeeded because they experimented, too.

Just remember that next time you light up or pour yourself a shot, make sure you know how your body is going to react. Maybe partying before a major exam won’t be the smartest idea, despite how tolerant you are to THC.


Julianne Mosher is a longtime writer for Campus News and is currently a graduate student at SNHU.

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