Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. Getting tipsy, drunk, wasted, hammered, smashed, whatever you want to call it. These are all things I’ve never done. Yes, you read that right. I’m 21, a senior in college and I don’t drink or party. I celebrated my 21st with my parents and younger siblings, I’ve never been to a bar or raging party, and I spend my weekend nights reading, studying, or watching movies.
“Wow, what a waste”, someone said to me regarding my socializing choices. I’m a senior in college; nearly four years have gone by and nothing has changed. I’m a bit puzzled by this statement. How have I “wasted” my college years? Although many of my friends share the same values and beliefs that I have on drinking, many students see you as a social outcast if you don’t build your social calendar around drinking.
When I tell those of an older generation that I’m 21 years old they give me a look as if to say, “Oh, I know how you spend you weekends. How irresponsible.” I hate that my age defines whom I am and has become a stereotype for students to live up to.
I hear so many students say things like, “I’m going to get so drunk tonight, classes wont be fun tomorrow,” or “wow that test was tough, looks like I need to drink.” When I hear students make these comments I think to myself, maybe that test wouldn’t have been so hard if you put as much time in to your studies as you do drinking and partying. Sadly, its not only college students that I hear making comments this way. I know adults who act the same about their “need” for a few drinks
I’ve never felt the need to include drinking in my socializing. I enjoy my friends company without being completely drunk in order to have fun. I often wonder why so many others feel that alcohol needs to be a regular part of their lives and I feel sorry or those who rely on alcohol for a good time.
Whether you are 21 or 45, think about the messages you are sending to younger generations. Consider having a good time without alcohol. I am not trying to put down those who drink or say that having any alcohol is wrong. The message I want to get across is that society relies on alcohol all to often. We don’t need it to solve our problems or liven things up.
Think about this the next time you make plans to drink with friends or go down town. Don’t waste your years getting wasted. Take time to enjoy your life, friends, and family without having alcohol around.