For the Latine community, attending college is usually one of the most important accomplishments for them – and their families. This is especially true for first-generation Latine college students, even if a lot of the time they will find themselves without much direction as they navigate their college lives.
However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that college students from historically excluded demographics also want to engage in what the United States has deemed as an appropriate “college experience.” For decades, American society has, in some way, set the parameters for the “right” college experience. This includes going to classes, studying, learning how to survive while in college, and partying – lots of partying. (Disclaimer: There’s no such thing as a “perfect” college experience.)
Partying has been the silent denominator for those who attend college. Whether you are the one attending parties or watching people around you party like they’ll never have the chance to party ever again in life, it’s been a constant.
Still, throughout the years, how college students engage with these activities has changed. As a millennial who went to college in Miami, we had coolers and bowls filled to the brim with alcoholic punch. Kegs were also popular. Previous generations also had their own version of this type of punch. Due to this, alcohol poisoning and heavy intoxications were very common. Yet, it was not something everyone was aware of. Also, technology hadn’t advanced to what it is now, not giving us access to upload content about the dangers of these “party beverages.”
Fast forward to today and information is at the tip of our fingertips. And that information is not always the best.
Borgs are becoming the new drinking fad for college students
Nowadays, college students are “learning” how to drink through their social media – which is as dangerous as it sounds.
College students today are foregoing communal punch bowls and drinking their own alcoholic concoction known as a borgs.
Borgs or “blackout rage gallons” consists of pouring out half the water in a gallon jug and then mixing in a third of vodka, liquid water enhancer, or a flavored drink mix powder, caffeine and/or electrolyte powder. The recipe for a borg has gone viral on TikTok – it has millions of views. In fact, if you log into TikTok and search #borg, you will be taken to a rabbit hole of borg content.
There’s no way to test the quality of a borg once it is made. Meaning, some of these college students might not have the proper ratio of ingredients for their drink formula. Thus, it can be considered dangerous to consume, especially if the objective is to drink the entire borg in one night. Furthermore, this leads to plenty of alcohol poisoning and intoxication – which can be deadly if not treated in due course.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has its own cautionary tale about this already.
On March 11th, around 28 ambulances responded to calls involving a number of alcohol intoxication cases. The reason for these intoxications? Borgs.
Yet, many people are claiming that this shouldn’t deter colleges or their students from borgs. Many people claim that drinking a borg is a surefire way of harm reduction because the risk of getting roofied is reduced. In theory, it should also decrease the risk of overdrinking, hence allowing for a “better” hangover the following day.
Don’t forget to stay safe
Nonetheless, George F. Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health, spoke about the concern regarding borgs with “Good Morning America.”
“The growing trend is raising concerns about the increase of binge drinking since students have returned to college campuses following the pandemic,” Koob told “Good Morning America.”
Whatever the case is, it is important to understand the benefits and risks of borgs.
Whether you’re currently a college student, a parent of a college student, or know someone who is in college, it’s better to be safe than sorry.