I am a junior in college, and I don't party.
I am that 'odd' individual that would rather stay in watching movies than go out on the weekends getting plastered and not remember the night. I would rather do homework and catch up on writing and set up volunteering events for my organizations than taking shots or shotgunning beers with the boys.
This is not saying I don't go out. I love to also be social and meet new people and catch up with my friends; I just prefer to do it sober rather than under the influence. This is not a bash on those of you who choose to drink or go out; I'm just sharing my side.
Those of us who stay in rather than go out are often looked down upon, even though we are the ones doing legal activities.
We are often seen as lame, or boring, or fun suckers. News flash: Alcohol addiction starts at a young age. Those four or five beers to create a buzz soon turn into six, seven, or eight plus some shots and more. As you get older, if you continue to drink the same amount, your tolerance grows and grows. Before you know it, you're an addict.
You can't go a day without a glass of wine or a beer after work. When you officially crave that taste for alcohol or that feeling of being drunk or buzzed or high, you're addicted. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18-24 die each year from alcohol-related injuries. About 696,000 students between the ages of 18-24 are assaulted by another student who is under the influence of alcohol per year. And, each year, about 97,000 students between the ages of 18-24 report experiencing sexual-assault or rape due to alcohol.
According to the same National Institute, about 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD).
When people ask me why I don't drink, I'm completely honest with them. I share how my uncle under the age of 60 passed away this year from alcoholism. I share how addictive personalities are such a thing. I share how I have seen individuals have seizures, blackout, perform assault, all under the influence of alcohol. I share how I have friends who have had to go to the hospital after a night out because they acquired alcohol poisoning and have had their stomachs pumped.
I am not against drinking, nor am I against having fun. There are so many ways to have fun sober or how to drink in moderation to not damage your body as much as a typical binge drinking night.
Personally, I would rather stay in and do homework, or watch movies, or play video games, than drink and wake up the next morning with a hangover.
Here's to those who don't drink; whether you have personal reasons or just don't find drinking satisfying. I understand you. You are not lame, you are not a fun-sucker, you are human and are entitled to have your own opinions just like anybody else.