Correct, I Really Didn't Drink Until I Was 21

Correct, I Really Didn't Drink Until I Was 21

And I still had an amazing 20 years.
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I didn't drink until I was 21.

Some of you are probably thinking I`m lying, but I promise you, I`m not. If someone's blood alcohol content could be negative, I'm positive that mine was. Maybe you're thinking, how did she do it? I was shocked too. Especially in today`s society where we put alcohol on a pedestal, where people of age and underage go out every weekend (or night in some cases). They say they had "so much fun," yet can't remember half of what they did because they were under the influence.

With all the pressure from people around you, especially others who are indulging, it can be a bit overwhelming and you consider it, but then you stick to your guns. If they don't give up when you say no, you play the DD card and get out of it. Or you just leave.

What made me wait? I don`t have a specific reason, but I do know it wasn't a hard choice.

I grew up knowing that rules are rules, and some are in place for a reason, not meant to be broken. My parents didn't have booze at every family event. In fact, I can't remember a time when I saw them drink any alcohol at home. Sure there may have been some for a marinade, and with what was left they didn't drink it while I was around. I didn't have any interest. I knew that beer smelled bad and that was enough to convince me that it wasn't worth consuming.

As I got older, I would hear about the kids in high school having a party while parents were out of town, or even in some cases while they weren't and I couldn't imagine why any adult would let their children have access to it. I never heard anything good come out of those stories. I was always shocked hearing that there would be people watching for kids at Winter Fest, prom, homecoming, or any other school dance who would show up intoxicated. Why was it necessary to have a little something something before going? Couldn't you do without?

This leads me to my next sort-of reason for waiting; I was having fun without it and didn't feel like I needed anything else to add to my life experience. Maybe I was lucky, maybe I had a group of people that I spent my time with who were interesting enough that I didn't need anything to convince me that they were or to make them more exciting to be around. I didn't have to sneak around my parents or ration amounts from the bottle which would keep them from becoming suspicious.

I finally got to the point where I was headed off to college. My parents warned me about not going out to parties and having too much, but they really didn't need to worry. I think they knew I would be fine, but parents will worry no matter what. I did go to one or two parties but left soon after arriving because I didn't want to deal with the drunk people. The worst thing I did in college (if you can call it bad) was go out at three in the morning for a burger.

In the final stretch it became a matter of proving something. I had to prove that peer pressure doesn't win. I needed people to see that I could still live my life to the fullest without relying on a substance to get me to the point where I felt good enough about what was happening in it. I was to the point where I couldn't stand people talking about their drinks when they shouldn't have them in the first place. It wasn't that I didn't look forward to this seemingly personal ban on these beverages being lifted, but that I found it was something I didn't desire with a passion the way some people seem to.

When I could finally have a drink, I really didn't even want it. I didn't go out and get hammered on my birthday. I didn't have any booze whatsoever. I went to a concert with some awesome people and had a blast. I also remember it, and no, I didn't have a hangover the next day either.

Now I go out with friends. I find that the bars are an interesting place to be and who doesn't want to get out on the dance floor despite the terrible moves they may possess? We don't go out every night. There is a solid week or two between excursions, sometimes more, and I don't go all out and get myself a pretty little headache the next day. It isn't worth it.

I don`t regret waiting at all. No, I don`t know what the best mixed drink is. I still haven't tried a beer, and I`m not in any rush to. Alcohol isn't something that I feel is necessary for my survival or a must have in order for a group gathering to be a good time. It is the personal choice of an individual to decide how they want to live their life. I don't have to approve of the choices of underage drinkers, let alone the drinkers that are of age. Likewise, they don't have to agree with the choices I've made, and I don't think I am better than anyone because of this life choice.

I don`t feel as though a drink is necessary to have a good time. Alcohol doesn't determine the fun, it`s the people you are spending the time with that make an impact. Don`t use it to cope, again, that is what those you surround yourself with are there to help with because they're going through things too. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing, and if they can't respect your decisions, they probably aren't the people you want in your life. You can still go to parties. You can still be yourself. That is what I did and here I am, alive and well. Don`t let other people convince you differently.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches "New Girl" knows about True American. This crazy, nonsense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in season one, episode 20.

The game, as described by "New Girl" character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1 to 5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game No. 1: The player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game No. 2: The player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game No. 3: The player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places, or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."


Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your "New Girl"-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly, and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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5 Drinks To Make Yourself Instead Of Going To Starbucks Because You Too Could Be A Barista

I love Starbucks, but it gets a bit expensive. . .

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I like to go to the coffee shop and splurge on various drinks and offerings as much as the next person. But after a while, I get sick of throwing out plastic cups and my credit card just looks. . . tired. There's always something satisfying about following a recipe and crafting something yourself, and it also tends to taste better. Here are five recipes to try out on your own:

1. Iced Dirty Chai (Vegan, Paleo, Sugar Free)

Iced Dirty Chai (Vegan, Paleo, Sugar Free)

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You like iced coffee. You like chai. Here's a recipe to merge those two together!

2. Homemade Mocha Frappe Recipe In Five Minutes

Homemade Mocha Frappe Recipe In Five Minutes

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Can never go wrong with chocolate and coffee. . .

3. Iced Coconut Matcha Latte

Iced Coconut Matcha Latte

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Iced Coconut Matcha Latte is not only delicious, but healthy too.

4. Italian Sodas

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These blueberry and strawberry Italian soda recipes put a new twist on refreshment.

5. Earl Grey Vanilla Tea Latte 

A deliciously simple Earl Grey Latte (London Fog) that you can make healthier at home! Recipe from thebusybaker.ca

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