I Don't Want to Drink, And I Don't Need Your Peer Pressure

I Don't Want to Drink, and I Don't Need Your Peer Pressure

I'm the small-town girl who's never had a sip of alcohol.

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I grew up in a really small town called Hardin, Missouri. My town population was 569, my graduating class consisted of a mere 18 people, and we were surrounded on all sides by cropland consisting of primarily corn and soybeans.

Do you know what there is to do in small towns like mine? Well, nothing. So, people drink. A lot.

But I wasn't a fan. Many people ridiculed me for it, and I've heard all the name calling, the insults, etc. I've been called "Bible Thumper", "Goody Two-Shoes", "Buzzkill", "Party Pooper", and more. It's not okay, and I'm sick and tired of it.

You see, I don't drink for a few reasons. First of all, I'm a Christian who is also under 21. And no, me giving that as a reason doesn't mean that I think I'm perfect, or better than you, or judgmental to those who drink or are not Christian.

I simply believe that getting drunk is wrong and going against the law is also wrong. I just don't see anything good coming out of consuming alcohol as a minor. If you choose to do so, that's none of my business and I'm still going to love you anyways.

Second, I have an awful time with self-control in general. So I know that if I like whatever I try first, things are going to go downhill quickly. I am over-ambitious in most things I do, and I never want one of those ambitious pursuits to be how much alcohol I can consume.

My first thought when someone tells me, "Try this, it doesn't even taste like alcohol", is: get that away from me. Now. Because I know myself better than whoever is trying to pressure me into consuming alcohol, and I know that my self-control seriously needs work.

People will say; "Oh c'mon Lacey, there's nothing wrong with trying a sip of something". But to me, there is. Because that might be dangerous for me.

Third, I'm afraid. Alcohol addiction runs in my family and it scares me to think about becoming addicted. I have never had any traumatic experience with someone addicted to alcohol, but nonetheless, addiction certainly doesn't sound appealing.

I never want to have to feel unsafe or like I am not in control of my own body or sense of judgment.

Parties and the societal expectations around drinking aren't really my scene, anyway. I don't care about being in large groups of people that I don't know. I'm more inclined to hang out with a few close friends and stay in for movie nights or go on late night Waffle House runs than go to a party.

The atmosphere of bonfires are nice, and I often find that sitting by the fire brings me peace. But when there are 50 other people around it drinking their weight in alcohol, you can imagine that the relaxing appeal is gone. I don't typically listen to the same music as everyone else either, and certainly not a huge fan of stereotypical party music.

I really don't have any desire to drink. I don't think that it will ever be something that will make my life better or enrich it in any way, and I don't see the point in bringing it into my life.

I've been a designated driver and have taken care of many drunk people before, and seeing them slumped over puking up their guts doesn't exactly encourage me to drink, either. I've been told that I have an old-soul kind of personality, and I am truly enjoying my life the way it is. I don't think alcohol will make my life more fun, and I have often been knowing to say that I'm "high on life". Because I am. I believe that life is a gift, and I try to live every day like I just got a present (No pun intended).

I think that if I ever decide to try alcohol when I'm 21, I'll be a wine kind of girl. But who knows, maybe I'll never care for alcohol. And that is totally okay. It doesn't make me weird, it doesn't mean I'm boring, and it doesn't mean that I don't know how to have fun. To anyone else who's ever been ridiculed or pressured because they don't want to drink; hang in there. Don't allow other people to control you. This life is yours to make, not theirs to destroy.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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How To Throw A Sick Rager, Bro

Last weekend my friends threw me a party for my birthday. It was epic. Here's what I learned.

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We're college students. Most of us have all gone out at some point. Besides that, most of us have probably also thrown our own party. It can be stressful. Do you have enough for everyone to eat? Do you have enough drinks? Do you have enough room for everyone? Is there good music? The list never ends. Here are things to keep in mind when you want to "throw a sick rager."

1. The location doesn't matter. You just need four walls.

I was originally stressed about the size of the tiny apartment my friends chose as the venue.

2. Music is essential.

A rager without music is just a tea party. The louder the music, the better. You want it to be so loud that people nearby come to the party just to see what's going on. We had three huge speakers and a DJ. You could hear it a block away. It was enough.

3. Alcohol is the fuel a rager burns on. 

Accept ample quantities only. Everyone needs to be intoxicated. This is not a drill. Quantity over quality. Kegs of beer and bottles of cheap vodka will do. The moment you run out is the moment your rager dies. It is crucial to have more than enough alcohol.

4. Props. 

This is often overlooked. Stupid glasses, water guns, beer bongs, banners for people to take pictures with, ice sculptures, a pool: all of these provide entertainment away from music and alcohol that partygoers can interact with. The most memorable parts of the party will come from interaction with the props.

5. Lights ... or the lack of 

There are many other, smaller things that can add to the party experience. Lighting is one such thing. The less light the better, but no light is bad. If you can get black lights, those are ideal.

6. Designated potty areas

You also need at least one bathroom. The more bathrooms the better, as mid-party everyone's small bladders will hit them at once and the bathrooms will get crowded.

7. Fill to capacity 

Invite everyone you want and tell them to invite everyone too. Send out the address as if its one of those forwarded texts from middle school. Send out the address like it holds the cure for cancer. Facebook pages are effective for spreading the word.

8. Party peak 

When will the most people be there? When will it be craziest? Then, set the time of arrival 90 minutes before. If you expect it to really get going at 11:30, tell people the party starts at 10.

9. Make friends

Say hi to everyone you see. You need to make friends with everyone. These people need to feel comfortable getting loose at your party, and those good vibes will spread. Compliment everyone, introduce people to each other, and dance hard. Others will see you have an amazing time and will feel encouraged to do the same.

10. Relax.

If you've done the work of putting it together, there's really not a whole lot you have to do the night of except enjoy it. Focus on making sure others are comfortable and having a good time.

11. Designate someone to take pictures.

You'll notice how hard it is to remember to take pictures when you're so busy having a good time

In the end, you'll notice that no one cares about how small the venue is. Everyone will end up having fun and you'll have worried about every small thing for no reason.

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