University season is approaching, and it breeds a drinking culture which you don’t necessarily have to adhere; contrary to popular belief, not all university students drink. Consuming alcohol has been the way for many people to fit in society but in the end it only leaves you with regrets and a possibility of liver failure, if you are a tad alcoholic.
In this blog, I will share my university experience surrounded by friends who drank every chance they got. However, I remained true to myself and not succumb to the peer pressure.
Peer pressure is a powerful influence in University and wanting to fit in, but in life, you can’t fit in everywhere you go.
It is not a social crime if you are not drinking; neither is it if you do decide to drink. It is your life to live how you choose. Drinking has many side effects to your health, therefore it is completely up to you, if you follow the trend or not.
Everyone chooses to live their life how they want and if someone doesn’t agree then sing “Hardy Caprio ft. One Acen - I’ll be outchea living my best life”.
Nothing is more beautiful than waking up the morning after going on a night out and finding out two things:
1. You have not woken up to a random guy/girl you don’t know, and still have your bank card, student ID and key card and;
2. You do not have a hangover, a killer headache, and your head feels clear. You wake up knowing what happened the night before and your common sense has not left for a one-way trip to Mexico.
I agree that there is a social pressure to drink; however, drinking is not for everyone. My friends drink, and I have learned from their experience that alcohol does not agree with everyone. It can cause drama that you don’t need in your life because, honestly, you came to University to study, not drink someone underneath the table.
For most people, being social equals drinking, but that is not even halfway true. There are many other methods you can meet new people, make new friends without drinking such as joining a sports team or a society, having a night in or interacting with the different people in your class.
If you find yourself downing a pint or having a glass of wine because your friends do it, then stop! It is not a good look.
You don’t have to follow the trend set out by your predecessors’ right down to the end. It’s your university experience, you are studying your preferred course, but then you are willing to throw away your hard work by doing what your friends are doing.
It is not the primary school, where you have to appease your peers for them to like you enough to want to hang out. If they find you ‘boring’ and constantly make a big deal about it, then my friend it’s time to see new people.
If your friends are all drinkers and you feel uncomfortable being around them, like you are not confident enough, then evaluate yourself and your priorities. Maybe it is time to ditch those who under-appreciate you and do activities that feel fulfilling.
Let me tell you what I learned if you don’t drink:
1. You can still have a good quality of life – I made friends, went out, partied but didn’t drink, and it didn’t ruin my experience.
2. Clarity of mind – I made more conscious decisions, and my quick thinking helped us when we were out for a group hangout, e.g., I called the cab and helped everyone get in, if they needed it, etc.
3. Being there for your friends – Since I was one of the very few that was sober in my friend circle, I was the pillar holding them together. I was their shoulder to cry on; a listener when they needed to vent, I would give advice when they were in a pinch and first aid when they were hurt; I would be their defense against others, and whatever my friends needed and however they needed me, I was there because my mind wasn’t intoxicated with alcohol.
4. Appreciation of your surroundings – I learned to enjoy university parties more, my friends, music, the library, and even the kitchen because I could remember and be in control of my actions, so that was good.
5. You don’t end up all slumped against the wall with no shoes and your friends helping you up and looking like you had rounds with Anthony Joshua. That is not your portion in life.
6. A collection of embarrassing videos of your drunk friends – you realize how wild some of your friends are when the alcohol hits their system. Plus, it gives you significant leverage when you want them to do something for you.
7. People always assume that it is for religious reasons and it could just be just the fact that you don’t like the taste of alcohol.
8. You don’t end up walking around like Bambi when he first learned how to walk if you can’t handle your liquor.
9. If you are sober, you can watch out for emotional and the abusive drunks. Even though they tell their life story and some deep secrets, they could be in trouble, and they might need some help.
10. Continually, explaining yourself for why you don’t drink can be exhausting; however, persevere and stand strong. It’s your life to live how you choose!
11. You do not miss lectures, seminars and actual essential events that don’t include socializing because you are sober, and can pay attention.
12. When you don’t drink, people always assume you drink Ribena or Squash or just Coke; there are such combinations of fruits and fizzy drinks that you can make without alcohol!
13. There will be haters but a negative reaction from a stranger or someone you probably see every 65 – 100 business days is not worth your time. Haters are going to hate regardless!
14. You don’t need to make a big deal out of not drinking or be ashamed of it, just tell your peers that you don’t drink, or you are not a heavy drinker. Honestly, though, their opinion doesn’t matter with how you live your life.
15. Confidence is the key! If you dare to enjoy your meal and night out without alcohol, then you are all good. Personality should be what a person judges you on, not if or how much alcohol you drink.
In a nutshell, just be yourself and people will like you!
Peace until Next Time,
This Girl Can Write A