What It's Like To Not Drink in College
High heels, zebra tights, booty shorts, sparkly top, lip-gloss, dangly earrings, false eyelashes, teased out hair. New profile picture? Most definitely.
If you saw my Facebook profile this weekend, you would think I’m a total party girl. I had not one, but TWO parties. The first was a crazy outfit party that my friend threw, hence the sexy zebra look, while the other was a famous couples mixer with my sorority and the engineering frat. And who else would yours truly be other than Bella Swan from Twilight. Also, I may or may not have had an outfit already from my 15-year-old twihard days, so please don’t judge me too harshly. It just made me happy that Edward covered himself in body glitter. Night = made. I don’t know how I felt about Catwoman making out with Aladdin, or Justin Bieber throwing up on the front porch but it was definitely a lot of fun. Which brings me to an important point:
Don’t regret life.
I try to remember this whenever I’m making a decision. When I’m afraid to do something because I don’t want to get hurt, I force myself to try because rejection is better than never knowing. I knew I would regret not rushing my sorority for a second time, and I’m so happy I did because I absolutely love it.
That also means not doing things that I know I’ll regret. And that includes drinking.
I don’t drink. When people ask why I don’t drink, I tell them the truth. For me, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth the chance of getting caught drinking underage and possibly losing my scholarship. It’s not worth the worry or the guilt or the hangover the next morning even if I don’t get caught. I don’t need alcohol to have a good time.
And before I come off sounding all 5th grade DARE instructor on you, I want to make it clear that I have absolutely no problem with other people drinking. Everyone’s entitled to make their own choices and no choice is better than another. I don’t judge people who drink, and in return, I hope they don’t judge me for my decision not to drink. I use the same philosophy with my vegetarianism—I’m not trying to convert you to the veggie-side, I just want to enjoy my soy-bacon.
For impartial-ism’s sake, here are some reasons that people choose to drink:
1. It loosens inhibitions. This is probably the most common reason. When you’re drunk, you care less about what other people think so you dance crazy and say funny things and do things you normally wouldn’t do.
2. Everyone else is doing it. It’s a lot easier to have a drink in your hand like all of your friends instead of being the odd man out.
3. Even though alcohol is a depressant (yep, it is!), having lowered inhibitions can give you a happy feeling.
And now, some reasons why being sober is cool, too:
1. You’re less likely to do something really stupid. Sometimes, inhibitions are there for a reason. I don’t usually make out with random guys because I’m not a huge fan of the awkward, “Hey, I think you might have had your tongue in my mouth but I’m not sure because it was pretty dark and I was pretty drunk.”
2. You CAN have fun without alcohol. I’ve heard people say, “Parties aren’t fun if you’re not drunk” but I can say from personal experience that I have had fun at parties while sober. It all depends on what mindset you’re in—if you tell yourself you’re not going to have any fun, then it doesn’t matter whether you’re drunk or not—you’re not going to have any fun.
3. Drunk people get sad, too. Alcohol amplifies your emotions. So if you’re happy it makes you happier. And if you’re sad, it makes you miserable. I have seen some really sad drunks: guys who call their exes and girls who randomly start crying. Getting drunk doesn’t make your problems go away.
With all that being said, will I be getting drunk on my 21st birthday in a year and a half? Probably not. But I will go out to dinner with my girlfriends and order a fruity drink with sugar on the rim and we’ll act like our normal crazy selves. Because that’s who I am.
So here is my two cents. If you choose to drink, do so reasonably and responsibly, and recognize that there are potential consequences for your actions. And if you choose not to drink, don’t let people pressure you otherwise but don’t preach to them either. Live and let live.