5 Reasons I Choose Not To Drink in College

5 Reasons I Choose Not To Drink in College

It worries me that I believe my best friend once used beverages to fill a void and temporarily mask stress.


College. What is it? Is it ridiculously hard exams and little to no sleep or is it loud parties and red solo cups? Without a doubt, all of the above fit the college stereotype. It is commonly assumed that they all just go together. So, what is it like to NOT participate in the party scene of college that is the site of new friendships, old friends, and memorable experiences (or maybe not, depending on what your choice of beverage is)? Here are five things that it is and is NOT.

1. No Guilt


It IS super great to not have the negative consequences of hangovers and getting kicked out of your academic program. If the morning teaches would not kill me, the guilt and fear of being caught definitely would. With all the stresses of college including, but not limited to grades, harsh professors, and student union food, there really is no room for guilt or dread.

2. It Can Be Funny


It IS kind of funny to see, and often hear, students come back after having a little too much fun at a party. The out of place laughing and the abandonment of introverted personalities is quite humorous.

3. It Can Be Upsetting


It IS upsetting to see friends and colleagues punished for their beverage choices. No matter how intelligent or talented someone is, their record can still be tarnished by a few glass bottles under their bed. It breaks my heart when this happens, but we all have to make our own choices in life.

4. It Is Frustrating


It IS extremely frustrating when older adults quickly assume that I will start carrying red cups once I start college. If I had a dollar for every time someone started a sentence, a lecture rather, with the words, "I know you will drink, so…" I would be wealthy enough to not need to attend college. Having only broken a talking rule in the third grade, I am not exactly a person that would eagerly break a law. Being shoved into a category with people you are nothing like is a bit annoying. It makes one wonder how bad drinking can really be if it is assumed that every college student will do it.

5. It Is NOT Boring


Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT boring. My college life has not been the drab, vapid space of loneliness that is shown in today's college films. In fact, I find that I am always busy with assignments, meetings, dinner plans, and of course, classes. I spend about 11 hours in my room a day. That includes sleeping time. I really do not know what schools those kids in those millennial movies attend because the primary goal for most of us seems to be gathering tools to be successful, not become the "big man" on campus.

The intention of these statements is not division. I am merely trying to shed light on a different perspective. This perspective does not come from a politically charged or judgmental place, only a realistic one. It makes me uncomfortable that I only have one friend that does not drink. It worries me that I believe my best friend once used beverages to fill a void and temporarily mask stress. It should be known that I am not opposed to the famous "Wine Wednesdays" when I am of age. I also have had my sip or two of adult beverages in my life. Sometimes, though, I wish that college represented a time of self-discovery and intellectual expansion more than blurry nights and throbbing mornings.

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12 Dorm Room 'Essentials' That Are Actually A Waste Of Money

If three years of college has taught me anything, it's that I wasted a lot of money and space on things for my dorm room that I never used.


Now approaching my senior year of college, there are so many things that I have experienced in my three years away that I either look back at and smile just at the thought of or immediately regret. With a younger sister going into her freshman year of college, I hope to teach her as much of those lessons I learned in advance so she doesn't make the same mistakes as me. One of the most important things I learned after moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments for three years is what should and shouldn't come with you to school. Because, let's be real, as much as we want to pack away our entire lives and fit them in our minuscule dorm room, not everything is necessary.

However, knowledge is power, and I don't want to just save my sister from making those mistakes. That's why I'm here to share the 12 things that aren't necessary for you to bring to school:

1. A Keurig/coffee maker

While living in an apartment and having all the space in a kitchen for a coffee maker and the time to make my own hot drinks, having a Keurig was a godsend. But I'm going to be completely honest, as someone who wanted a Keurig so badly before freshman year...I rarely used it when I lived in the dorms. Between having meal points to buy my own coffee and just never having the time or energy to make it in the morning and then clean the dishes afterward, it just wasn't worth the waste of money and space.

2. A giant television

You may see pictures of dorm rooms and see students with giant televisions along their window or squished onto their desks. But unless you're living in a larger apartment, having a huge flat screen TV has no purpose for a small dorm room. There are TV's usually all over campus, especially in the common rooms that are free for you to use. If you really do feel like you need a TV in your dorm, a smaller one will suffice, because anything larger is going to take up some much-needed room.

3. Any type of hot plate/mini grill, etc.

Besides the fact that these are banned in most dormitories anyways, it's not smart to sneak one of these into your rooms. I can't tell you how many people I know that have accidentally started a fire in the dorm room from using a toaster they snuck in or a special "grilled cheese grill." The dining halls will have everything you could possibly want and need, and most dorm rooms come with a mini fridge and microwave to supplement anything further.

4. Candles

I'll admit, I am guilty of using these my sophomore year of college. Do I regret the millions of times I freaked out because I almost lit my dorm room on fire? Absolutely.

It's not worth it. Your RA will probably catch you, it's not worth the risk of accidentally setting your shoebox-sized dorm on fire, and the smoke detectors in those rooms are so sensitive that you're bound to set them off.

5. A printer

Unless you're living off campus in an apartment, there really is no reason to have a printer in your dorm room. There are tons of printers throughout the different buildings of every university, and most allot a certain amount of sheets for you to do your printing. Printers are big and clunky, hard to store, and the ink is very expensive. Don't consider buying one unless you plan on moving off campus.

6. An iron and ironing board

Take it from someone who absolutely hates wearing wrinkly clothes, the whole iron and ironing board duo was not a smart move my freshman year. It took up way too much room and when I did actually want to iron, it was so annoying to find a spot to do it in my small room.

If you're really obsessive about having non-wrinkled clothes like I am, you can invest in a mini steamer, which is super cheap, stored extremely easily because they're so small, and work just as well as an iron. I ended up swapping out for one of these my sophomore year and loving it so much more.

7. Bean bag chairs/Folding chairs

Any extra seating for a dorm room is honestly unnecessary besides the standard desk chairs that come with the dorm. The floor space is so limited that taking it up with any other large items is going to make it extremely difficult to navigate around your room. Also, when your friends come to hang out, they usually will end up just sitting on your bed or your desk chair anyways.

8. A body pillow

I don't really know what the use of these things are. I had one freshman year, and it laid against my bed the entire year and I never used it. I just found laying on it extremely awkward and uncomfortable and it was just so big that it took up too much room on my already tiny Twin XL bed.

9. A laundry hamper

A stand-up laundry hamper is just going to take up way too much space that you don't have. Instead, invest in some nicely made laundry bags that you can put your dirty laundry in and just easily carry over to the laundry room. A lot of stores even make special bags that differentiate between lights, darks, and delicates so the sorting is already done for you before you do your laundry.

10. A vacuum

While the idea of having a vacuum is nice, and I myself have had one all three years, it just took up way too much room in my dorm and I later found out you could just rent one from the commons whenever you wanted to clean your floor. Most universities do have cleaning supplies for rent, such as brooms, swifters, vacuums, etc., so there's no need trying to fit all of those in your closet.

11. A million throw pillows

While they'll make your bed look cute, making your bed every single morning and remembering where to put the millions of decorative pillows can become very annoying, not to mention finding a place to put them whenever you turn down your bed.

12. Picture frames

While having tons of pictures in your dorm room is nice, and I say the more the merrier, bringing physical picture frames is just a waste because there's not much shelf or desk place to place them. Instead, find a cute wall decoration that holds photos or clips to hang them from your wall. It'll save a ton of space and also cover up those bare, ugly dorm room walls.

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