Alcohol is a normal thing to encounter in college life. Almost every class I've taken has been prefaced at one point or another with students discussing how drunk they were over the weekend or how hungover they are now. Multiple times this discussion has turned to asking me about alcohol related subjects, and for some reason it always comes as a surprise that I don't drink it, and sometimes people trying to convince me to, which just makes me uncomfortable.
I'm not against a glass of wine or a beer or mixed drink at a bar with friends - but I won't do any of that until I'm 21. Why should I willingly break a law where safety is the intention? I don't think it's cool to drink underage, and I find discussion revolving around it quite distasteful. I don't understand why it's universally accepted to do it either. Is it that hard to wait a few years to try it out? Even if it's that tempting, I don't get why everybody thinks it's so cool to do so, and if it's that tempting then there might be a bigger problem than just underage drinking going on.
Why should I need alcohol to have fun? Personally, I can't think of any situation where alcohol would be crucial to having a good time. I've been to school dances and have hung out with friends in small and large groups, and every time I had a great time talking and laughing, all while sober. If alcohol is needed for somebody to have fun, they aren't going to the right kinds of places. Even if the claim that alcohol is more fun comes up, I still don't see the point.
Part of why I don't understand the craze about getting drunk is because personally I enjoy control of my body. Again, I'm not against having some alcohol when it's legal for me to, but I will never get drunk. If I wouldn't do something sober, I don't want my drunk self doing it while I don't have much control over what I'm doing. I've dealt with drunk people before, and I'm always extremely embarrassed for them. I don't want to do something that I cringe at when I watch others do it. I also like being aware of myself. If I get drunk enough to do embarrassing things, then I'm not aware of myself or I'm aware but unable to stop it. Both of those ideas terrify me.
Worse still is getting black out drunk and not even remembering what happened the night before. This is even more confusing when people laugh and brag about it, and then saying it was so fun. If they can't even remember what they did, how do they know it was fun? How do they know they didn't spend the night throwing up and passing out? There's people that do that often, and that doesn't sound fun to me. If I want to forget everything and not remember what happens, I'll go to sleep. It has the same effect, only I won't do anything embarrassing, I'll feel refreshed, and I won't have a hangover, or have a chance of dying from alcohol poisoning.
Besides the fact that there is a short history of alcoholism on my dad's side, there are reasons I choose to not drink alcohol. It doesn't really matter to me if to some people it's more fun to be drunk with friends than sober, I choose to have fun sober. Next time somebody says they don't drink, instead of trying to convince them it's better somehow, respect their decision, or even try to understand why they feel that way. It shouldn't be as big of a deal as it is that some people don't drink.