Toronto , Canada

My name is Shelby Aldred and i am an eighteen year old from Toronto Ontario. I am a recent graduate of Sir Oliver Mowat C.I. I come from a big family being the youngest of 5 (all girls) i would never consider my life as normal. I work full time as a hostess in downtown Toronto and i love it. A lot of people complain about the customer service and restaurant business, but i love the level of social interactions and challenges that can occur daily. I also have a love for animals, having adopted 2 cats of my own Ariel and Smokey. My next step for life is to go to college which i have applied to George Brown and Sheridan College and i am excited to find out if i have been accepted, that being said i need money for school which is going to be a challenge.


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Drinking is a serious topic that people deal with on a day to day basis. At some points it can mean life or death due to the choices it allows people to unfold, but should 19 be the age that it's appropriate and considered acceptable to drink? I disagree; it should be lowered to high school ages for a multitude of reasons. Teenagers are drinking illegally anyway, they're exposed to it everywhere they go, and it can open up many new opportunities for them. Perhaps allowing younger adolescents to drink we can find solutions to problems that occur daily. According to Teen Challenge "83% of grade 12 students in Ontario have admitted to consuming alcohol.  49% binge drink at the ages of 17-18", most of which confess their first intoxication "was at the age of 14". If by these young ages adolescents have already consumed this depressant why have we not done anything about it? Mostly because adults are unaware, due solely to the fact that it is an illegal substance for this age. Moreover this could create a dangerous environment for all; a child with a g2 licence may drive home rather than make the phone call to a parent just to avoid getting in trouble. Having a lower drinking age could allow a young person to arrive home safe without the self-regret of breaking a law on their shoulder. This discussion leaves people wondering why children are drinking at such a young age. This is because of exposure, in music videos, television shows, YouTube videos, etc. We constantly see the drunken characters that are used for comic relief that everyone loves like Homer Simpson, from The Simpson's or the guys from FRIENDS enjoying a beer. From the mind of a teenager they want to be cool like the people they watch, but it doesn't stop there.  They hear older sibling and friends telling funny drunken stories, yet are never being made aware of the downsides of consuming the product. Maybe younger drinking age will give parents a chance to talk more in depth about how it affects us, and what to look out for rather than waiting for a child to experience it themselves. Lastly, the drinking world can open up an entire new set of social settings that can be explored. This could be beneficial to students who struggle with anxiety and other social paranoia's, allowing them to use the depressant to relax themselves and step out of their comfort zones. Many teens sneak into bars to examine the environment and to test themselves, like going to karaoke, or open mic nights which are usually off limits to people their age. Being social is an important part of growing up because it is a life skill that is used everywhere from ordering food to asking directions. To conclude, 19 should not be the legal drinking age in Canada in fact it should be lowered. Rather than shaming students for drinking at ages 14+ we should be helping them understand all the risks and giving our attention to ensuring they consume alcohol safely. Exposing them to all the aspects of the substance and give them a chance to develop their character. Drinking doesn't have to be dangerous and if earlier exposure and consumption could be monitored by lowing the legal age I believe that the effects can have a firm positive impact. "Alcohol Abuse Facts." Alcohol Abuse Facts - Teen Challenge Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017. http://www.teenchallenge.ca/get-help/educational-resources/alcohol-abuse-facts>.

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