drinking, saying no, having fun, parties, fraternities
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Hey, It Is OK To Be The "Party Pooper"

Don't you dare let anyone pressure you to drink with the taunt, "party pooper."

Hey, It Is OK To Be The "Party Pooper"

College can be intimidating at first, from all the classes to teachers who you're not even sure care if you pass their class to the girl with the permanent RBF on your dorm floor.

College can also be exciting, from the new friends to make to the new boys to meet to taking classes that actually pique your interest. College can also be fun—especially your first college party. But it doesn't have to be that wild and crazy fun that you've seen in movies.

It doesn't have to be that dangerous scenario where one of your friends wakes up in some stranger's bed and has to have you guys tell her who she drunkenly chose to go home with last night or where one of the guys gets lost on the streets for a couple hours because he was swearing—in slurred words—that the car was actually parked over here. But all those options are better than not drinking and being labeled "The Party Pooper," right?

I disagree. And despite being prompted many times by friends and acquaintances who hold two red solo cups in their hands, one always outstretched for me to grab, as they use the taunting words, "Don't be a party pooper," I haven't drank much—and even then never more than a couple sips.

And somehow, I'm still not the party pooper. What I've learned at college parties, at the #6 party college—one that slowly lost and is losing its #1 title, is that you don't have to drink to have fun. You can still go to all the parties and choose not to drink, and even if you choose to, you don't have to get blackout drunk. I promise it's far more entertaining to remember that time your friend peed in the sink or embarrassed themselves in front of that super cute (and tall) basketball player than to have no one remember the night before.

Here's how I survived and avoided peer pressure to drink at college.

1. I Made It Known

Walking into my first college party, I made it very clear I would not be drinking that night or any night soon. I stood my ground no matter how many times the same person asked or how many times I was asked if I felt "superior" because I choose not to drink. No, I don't feel superior, I feel responsible.

Because at the end of the night, it was me who was walking that boy home and watching him throw up while I congratulated myself on not being in his position. It was also him who bought me a pizza as an apology for having to leave the party early, so who is the real winner?

2. I Made Puns

College kids commonly use code words to signal a party with alcohol—though I'm not sure why; all the teachers know what we're talking about. BYOB (bring your own booze) was commonly stated as "bring your own bible." So why not actually bring a bible and make a joke? My favorite was parties referred to as an ice cream social. So what if all the freshman actually stopped by a gas station and brought ice cream? It was the upperclassmen asking for a bite of it instead of the freshman asking for a sip of booze.

3. I Already Had A Cup

There were a few instances where the pressure to drink got unrealistically intense, so I asked for a cup and filled it with water. The people who had been bugging me to drink finally let up seeing that cup in my hand and the people who knew me better asked what it was. I simply shrugged and said I cared about my hydration.

4. I Knew Everybody

Though I have had my hand at a couple frat parties where girls are always let in free in hopes of getting one plastered enough to let a frat boy score, I preferred to attend the equally wild band parties, where I knew all 100 in attendance by name. From experience, it's far more fun partying with people you know rather than getting spilled and sweated on by total strangers.

5. I Had Fun

Finally, I simply enjoyed myself. I bounced around and talked to people I normally wouldn't have. I did things that were enjoyable for me, in full and clear conscious, because I don't need to have alcohol in my system in order to ask that guy out or make a 2 am run to Pancheros—if you go to Iowa, you'll know. In the end, I had fun just by being energetic and being surrounded by friends.

And until you're ready to grab that cup, I hope you'll be comfortable enough following my advice.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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