Holiday season!

The weather is getting colder, and we are in the home stretch to Thanksgiving break and the start of the
holiday season. For some college students, this will be the first time coming home since school started.
And with that comes a lot of opportunities for catching up with buddies from high school which may
lead to some important and responsible decisions to make.

At my house, my mom always hosts family and friends for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She goes
overboard with the food, making three types of meat for the celebration (turkey, ham, and beef) so that
everyone has something that they like to eat. And (of course) there are always a lot of desserts. I admit I
eat some of everything! Along with dinner, we always have plenty of drinks for our guests to enjoy like
pop, lemonade, and iced tea. We also serve wine and beer for the adults who want to enjoy a drink with
dinner.

The holidays can also be a time to reconnect with friends from home. As a college freshman, I can
understand how someone who has been on their own at college for several months might think that
Thanksgiving or Christmas break is a great time to celebrate by drinking alcohol. We haven’t seen each
other in so long, and have so much to catch up on. Plus, there are no responsibilities with school for a
few days. We also are likely to see best friends from high school for the first time in months and may
think it’s a good time to try a drink. We might even feel pressured by them. But in the end, underage
drinking is always a bad idea. I understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and think
that one drink will not hurt anything, but it is better to say no because it could lead to other risky
decisions or a very bad situation. There are, unfortunately, many examples and stories of college
students coming home during the holidays, choosing to drink and it going terribly wrong. I always say no
to underage drinking, and I never get into a car with anyone who has been drinking.

Think of it this way– the holidays are when many people spend more time on the road. People will be
traveling to and from college, going to holiday parties, doing Christmas shopping, and more. Even one
drink can impair your ability to make good decisions on the road and will put you and others at risk
while driving. Plus, if you are underage like me, drinking is illegal and not worth the risk. It is just better
to avoid that situation in the first place.

One of the great things about my partnership with Responsibility.org is it has encouraged me to think
even more about making good choices and given me a platform as a racing driver to set a good example
and remind others about making responsible decisions.

The holidays are just around the corner, and my hope for you is that you can make this holiday season
one to remember for all the right reasons. Good friends, great food, and fun memories!

Stay fast!

Jackson

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