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.