It's a Friday night in college, and many people my age are out at the bars or at parties getting completely wasted.
Call me lame, but you probably won't catch me at any of these places consuming insane amounts of alcohol. Instead, I'm most likely in my dorm eating ice cream and watching Netflix or out with friends doing something other than drinking.
I'm constantly told, "you're not getting the 'true college experience'" and "live a little" - and I am pressured with additional similar statements for choosing not to partake in such activities. I'm a senior in college, and I can assure you that I've already had such an incredible time WITHOUT getting intoxicated each and every weekend like many feel is necessary. I have made incredible friends and memories and do not feel as though I'm missing out on the "college experience" simply because I choose not to drink excessively on the weekends. Nowhere in the description of college is drinking listed as an essential.
I also get the common question of "why not?" and it is generally assumed that I do not do such things because I want to be "good" or because I am "sheltered."
I don't think drinking in itself is bad at all. It can escalate to being a dangerous thing when judgments are impaired or when people over-consume to the point of sickness, but all in all, I don't not drink to the point of intoxication because I think it's "immoral" or "bad" or anything of that manner: I simply just do not find drinking for the sole purpose of altering my judgment as something that would be enjoyable. Similarly, many things that I find to be enjoyable are not seen as "fun" or enjoyable by others-they're not wrong for not seeing such activities in the same way that I do, and there's no reason for me to condemn them or pressure them to partake in the activity simply because I enjoy it.
One of the biggest arguments against my stance is that I have never experienced drunkenness, so how do I know? I might just enjoy it. True, I might. But there are a lot of things that we might enjoy if we tried, but simply have no desire to try. There is no reason to force oneself to partake in an optional activity if there is no desire to do so.
The thought of not being able to be in full control of my actions and not being able to remember what happened the night before just doesn't sound like a good time to me: I like being able to remember the memories that I make. I also prefer to act like an adult and NOT take up a childish personality that typically comes with intoxication.
It's simple: if I want to have a drink, I will have a drink (preferably something fruity and fancy - multiple servings of room temperature beer in a Red Solo Cup doesn't sound appealing). There is nothing inherently wrong with drinking, but it is wrong to try to pressure someone into having a drink (or multiple) if they do not want to.
I will never condemn a person who does choose to get drunk "to have a good time" - you do you, but don't hurt anyone in the process and don't condemn me for not seeing alcohol from the same perspective as you do.