This time of year people are throwing beers back, rocking red white and blue, and having the time of their lives with the friends they never want to lose. But life isn't always that good. We live in a world full of misfortunes and heart break. Hell, sometimes it seems like we are breaking our own hearts. We don't always kill the interview and occasionally we don't study enough for the most important exam of the semester. Bad things happen and we often blame ourselves. Though it may not always be our fault it is okay to see it that way. What is not okay is turning to a bottle to try to forget our downfalls.
It's all over the media and we see our friends do it all the time. They are sad or upset so they start drinking. The next thing we know they're crying or fighting or taking some random person home to forget the last one. There is nothing fun about those outcomes when drinking. And let's be clear, alcohol does not change the way you feel. It doesn't magically make things better. You have to decide to confront and fix your problems because waking up the next day with a vague memory of crying on twelve peoples shoulder or worse next to someone you barely remember meeting is not ideal. I'm not saying one night stands are all bad I'm just saying they are better if you go into them not bothered by any anger or sadness that the alcohol is just magnifying. It is a very slippery slope when one begins to associate drinking with feelings of sadness or anger.
Instead of drinking to bury our feelings, why don't we drink to celebrate? I think that Cole Swindle says it best in his song "Ain't Worth the Whisky" where he sings,
"I won't waste a dime
Or the bartender's time
Trying to catch a buzz
Over the thought of us.
But I'll drink to a country song
To another long work week gone
And I'll raise my glass to a long lost buddy I ain't seen.
I might stay for one more round
Or I might close this place down
But don't think for a second I'm out to drown your memory
Baby, you ain't worth the whiskey."
Drinking when you're happy always ends far better than the opposite, so I've been told. At 20, I'm no expert on the subject but my observations thus far indicate to me that celebratory drinking is a lot more fun. So next time you win the lottery, your girlfriend says yes, or you're best friend gets the job pop a couple bottles with the ones that put a smile on your face!
Of course, do it responsibly and never before you are 21. Understand the laws in your state and take care of the people around you. Also, you are dumb if you drink and drive.
Cheers and happy drinking!