Behavior can be influenced by social pressure and opportunity. In the occasional visit to the campus pub, I’ve seen students drinking before and after class and even during class breaks.
I speculate that some drink because they have had little chance to do so prior to attending college. I think there are others who just want to fit in, some who like to party, and perhaps some using alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Although I do not drink often, here and there I have used alcohol to relax, and forget my studies for a while. Though I am trying hard to balance my recreation and my schooling, I realize that we all need to develop effective and safe coping mechanisms not just for school, but for life. With alcohol so available and accepted, it’s a tricky balancing act.