I find myself spending another Friday night alone on Netflix. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way: I have my popcorn, trail mix, and chocolate by my side—I’m clinging onto my stuffed bear, too—I’ll admit it. Do I feel like I’m missing out when I’m scrolling through my Instafeed, every 30 minutes, and seeing endless party pictures? Not really, but if Beyonce showed up at a party, then maybe. I guess I could go out to bars with my friends. I could drink casually in their dorms and get extremely shit-faced, but why should I? What’s the point of it? There is so much think about…a ride home, convincing a friend to stay sober, and watch over me. Not to mention the guy slyly trying to take advantage as the party begins to roll.
Truth is, I choose not drink. If any of my class fellows and friends are reading this, I lied about being ‘allergic to alcohol’. I lied about being allergic to the “ingredient in all alcoholic drinks that my doctor said I’m allergic to.” I am sorry for being dishonest. Dishonesty is no way to build and maintain a friendship.
But why did I lie? Well, it’s not that simple. Most of you drink on a daily basis. I promise I am not judging you. It does worry me, though. I haven’t befriended a single person in college that doesn’t drink. Even having a beer once a month fits in the category I’m referring to.
The last time I drank was senior year of high school. I remember it exactly because I landed up sick shortly afterwards. Not because I’m allergic but because no one educated me on the fact that I’m not supposed to have alcohol if I’m taking an antibiotic, which I was for a sinus issue. There were a few other kids, however, who were also on antibiotics, drinking profusely but who hadn’t felt a thing. Was this because their liver was stronger than mine? Were they more tolerant than I was? Maybe I got sick because I was slightly skinnier and weaker than everyone else was. If I remember correctly, I have had exactly 12 beers in my lifetime. All of them were during high school and spread out tremendously. The only times I took a beer that was offered to me was when I wanted to seem ‘cool’. Or, I remember one of my old friends telling me, “If a guy offers you a drink, take it. It’s not polite if you don’t.” Being the innocent and naive high school kid I was, I did take her advice. They were always closed beers, though. I wanted to avoid drinks that could’ve been spiked. I was smart for thinking about that, at least.
The more beers and hard liquor I drank, the more I started to ask myself, what’s the point? The two times I got drunk I got completely shit-faced for a few hours, and then woke up the next morning feeling still feeling like crap.
During one of those times, I drank and mixed my liquor so much that I had to go to the hospital. If you’re reading this, mom, remember that time the doctor told you I had food poisoning? It wasn’t food poisoning. I actually didn’t have any food at all that night, which is rookie mistake number one. I am sorry, and I hope you can forgive me.
I drank because it was socially acceptable. I drank because everyone else was doing it, and it looked like they were having so much fun. Shortly after, I had my last few beers when I began to think… while partying, wearing a boy’s letterman jacket—trying to fit in, giving off the seemingly popular stereotype.
I watched boys yell and argue at each other over a game of beer pong. One of my friends was so drunk she couldn’t walk straight and was close to making a fool of herself. A few others were passing out on the floor or the couch. There was one couple, making their way upstairs to someone else’s bedroom. I know for a fact that those kids had never even spoken to each other before that night and the guy probably didn’t even know her last name. Both of them were drunk. And then it hit me—everyone including myself, looked like crap. It was hot and everyone was sweating. Ninety five percent of the people who had been drinking profusely would wake up the next morning with a pounding headache or a sour stomach. A few would be spending the night throwing up because of the amount of alcohol they had consumed. Someone had already started in the bathroom that was a few feet away from me. The couple upstairs would wake up the next morning, most likely regretting their actions and not realizing the consequences of it. At that moment, I threw out the beer I had in my hand and waited for my ride home.
After reading this, if you’re a drinker you’ll probably think I’m being an innocent baby or that I’m highly judgmental. However, it has been scientifically proven that alcohol is bad for you. Drinking slurs your senses so it’s a dead giveaway that’s it not safe or natural. Alcohol is a poison and can kill you if you are not careful. A person with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.35 and 0.50 can fall into a coma. If that number goes over 0.50 you can die. A lot of people don’t even realize they could be close to hitting that limit because one drink, leads to two, and so on. Their senses are so numbed that they’ll keep drinking. It can turn into a really bad habit.
Alcohol can even lead to long-term permanent damage like any other drug. The brain can shrink, lead to deficiencies in the fibers that carry information between the brain cells. Drinking over a long period of time can obviously be damaging to the liver and could lead to cirrhosis—a condition where a healthy liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue and could leave it unable to function.
I’m more worried about you guys who are drinking every day and every weekend. When will it stop? I sit through classes and overhear stories of how some kid fell of the bunk and had a black eye, or that someone almost got hit by a car while crossing the street. I’m even more worried about the students who are about to embark on spring break for seven days of non-stop drinking. The same thing goes for those of you who are going to raves every weekend under the influence of even worse drugs like Molly and Ecstasy. Neither of those two drugs I have tried or will ever try. Why are you doing it? Why are you drinking so much that your liver hurts? Why are you drinking so much that you get so numb. Alcohol is no way to cover your issue that you’ll use as an excuse. It’s just going to cause more problems. Is damaging your body even a little really worth it? Why?
I’m really sorry if you just don’t care and continue to do it anyway. I wish there was something I could do to help you. You only live once, right? Wouldn’t you want to live for a longer time?
Also, don’t feed me the excuse of being able to drink every night and still maintain a 4.0 GPA. Bravo, if you are that skilled but it has nothing to do with balancing your social life and schoolwork. You can go out and party the same way, drink Pepsi, dance and still have fun. If I can do it, you can too.
I’m not really allergic to alcohol. Truth is, I lied because the real reason why I rejected your drink proposal took the length of this article. Saying “I’m allergic” was short, simple, and wouldn’t offend you in any way.
Drinking is a bad habit. For the guys, I gave a slightly alternate excuse for not drinking by saying, “I just have low tolerance for it.” I’m actually really appalled by the answer you gave me when you said: “Build up a tolerance for it.” Is addiction really that bad in this country that you have to force yourself to do something that’s bad for you?
I’m going to give a pass to those of you who just want to kick back after a long day of work and have a beer, here and there. I’m more focused on my classmates whose college careers I see deteriorating before them and for the high-school classmates I’ve run into this spring break with beer bellies catching up to them. After reading this article, I hope you can decide to not be one of those kids who are out every ‘Thirsty Thursday’ to Saturday night. I can’t stop you from making your choices, and I’m not going to force you to listen to me. I just hope you can be more aware of your surroundings and drink responsibly. I already learned the hard way, once, I hope you don’t have to go through a scare like that too.
Image credit: WeHeartIt.com