Sorry, My Idea Of A Good Night Isn't Drinking The Same Poison That Killed My Family Member

Sorry, My Idea Of A Good Night Isn't Drinking The Same Poison That Killed My Family Member

You're never going to get to take me out for a drink, not now, not five years from now, not even 20 or 30 years from now because I don't drink.
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I'm 21 years old and I don't drink. I tried alcohol once and to be honest, it wasn't nearly as amazing as everyone says it is.

The texts I got leading up to my 21st birthday all looked something like this:

"Hey, Bri! We'll have to go out for your 21st."
or
"Bri, finally you're 21 and can come out with us."
or
"When are we going to go out to celebrate your 21st?"



I have a one-word answer for all of you: "never."

You're never going to get to take me out for a drink, not now, not five years from now, not even 20 or 30 years from now because I don't drink.

Before you think I don't drink for a religious reason or because I think I'm "too good for people who drink" or something else along those lines, allow me to stop you.

Allow me to tell you that the main reason behind my choice to not drink alcohol has nothing to do with my religion or my personal way of living.

Instead, it has everything to do with what I've witnessed.

I don't share my private life on the Internet very often, if ever, but sometimes, the need to speak out about something outweighs our desire to stay within our comfort zones and our mind-numbing mindset that we shouldn't say anything that makes us uncomfortable.

I'm 21 years old and I don't drink because I lost my uncle to drug and alcohol addiction.

People tell themselves that it's "just one drink" and that they "won't get addicted," but then they like that taste, they like that feeling and one turns into two turns into three and so on.

Seeing my uncle's life be cut short at only 51 years old from preventable causes doesn't sit well with me.

It doesn't sit well with me knowing that his death was preventable, and it doesn't sit well with me knowing that I wished I had gotten to know him even better while he was alive.

I could very well have made the choice to drink and not end up getting addicted--tons of people around the world drink but aren't addicted.

Yet, knowing how alcohol ruined and took my uncle's life makes the very smell of it something I cannot stand.

When my friends ask me to go to a party, I politely decline, hearing my uncle's words ring through my head.

"You're a smart girl, don't get involved in this stuff like I did. It messes up your life."

See, the worst part of this, for me, is that he knew he had a problem, but he couldn't get help. Seeing a family member deteriorate before your very eyes is heartbreaking.

When I look at my future, I want it to be what I want it to be. I don't want to make wine or beer my drink of choice, and I certainly don't want to leave my family, friends and other loved ones behind.

I want to determine my future, the bright one that my uncle always told me I had. I don't want alcohol to determine it for me.

And no matter how many times you tell yourself you won't get addicted, no one really knows that. No one drinks alcohol to become an alcoholic and have their life taken away from them prematurely.

No one wakes up, drinks a can of beer and thinks, "I'm going to end up being an alcoholic someday."

As cliché as the old saying "if you play with fire, you're bound to get burned" may sound, it holds a lot of truth here. When drinking alcohol, you run the risk of getting intoxicated or eventually becoming addicted.

This year will mark five years since my uncle passed away, and there's not a single day that goes by where I think, "Oh, it's so easy to not have him here."

There are days I find little signs of him everywhere. Like when I see someone with a do-rag walking around or hear an AC-DC song somewhere around campus.

I believe that my uncle was a great person, I truly do. I just believe that he had a very big struggle in life with alcohol.

I want to live to remember every single day I'm given and I want to live without regrets. If I were to drink, I think that would be a regret because I feel like the one promise I made to myself and to my uncle before he passed was that I would live the life I'm capable of living.

That life doesn't include alcohol.

It includes big career goals and personal goals that I want to meet and uphold, and those types of goals are best met sober.

So, to answer all of my friends' texts collectively, no, I won't be heading to a bar with you anytime soon, but if you want to buy me a cup of coffee for my belated 21st, I'll gladly accept the offer.

Cover Image Credit: cbeck527 / Flickr

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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This Is The Type Of Alcohol You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Time to get white girl wasted.

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While many choose to ignore their zodiac sign and don't partake in the daily reading of their horoscope, there's no doubt that your astrological sign has something to do with the way that you act.

This being said, I took the liberty of researching all of the zodiac signs and applying them to some of our favorite (and least favorite) alcohols.

Regardless of what you choose to read about and believe, take a minute to read below, because you'll probably be shocked at how "you" it is.

Aries (March 21 - April 19): Moonshine

Aries are known to be independent, leaders, passionate, motivated, and are always "chiefs" instead of "Indians". All things considered, moonshine is the perfect alcohol to describe an Aries. In its purest form, it is the alcohol that broke us into the world of libations. Moonshine has a bold, strong front, which I believe can also be said about many Aries people.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20): Red Wine

At their core, Tauruses are trustworthy, ambitious, intelligent, and well-intentioned people. Much like Tauruses, red wine is a trustworthy go-to of many, especially housewives looking for a late-night drink. Red wine is often enjoyed by people with a higher taste level, as the flavors can be analyzed and have much more depth. While red wine can be considered a higher-end beverage, there are also plenty of cheap wines (going back to Tauruses being generally down-to-earth people). As a whole, red wine and Tauruses go hand-in-hand.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20) : Vodka

Geminis are often described as dynamic, outgoing, quick-thinkers, and overall well-rounded people. For these reasons, vodka is the best alcohol to embody Geminis. Vodka is easily the most versatile of the alcohols, making it easily relatable to Geminis. Much like Geminis, vodka can come in just about any variety, can adapt, and can also be mixed with many things (just like Gemini's capability to work their way into any and all social situations). Overall, vodka's ability to adjust makes it extremely relatable to Geminis.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22): Craft Beer

With traits such as a strong intuition, being emotional, a deep personality, and occasionally being stand-offish, Cancers and craft beer truly relate deeply. Much like cancers, craft beers can often seem intimidating at first, but once you are introduced, your world is changed for the better. Cancers and craft beers are often difficult to understand and there are many different sides to them. Their varying types and flavors are expansive and what they have to offer varies.

Leo (July 23 - August 22): Fireball

Leo's traits of interest include warmth and kindness, boldness, courage, a high self-esteem, and intelligence. Fireball is bold and intense, and offers courage to those who choose to drink it. Its pungent flavor relates to the strong personality of Leos, whether that be for better or worse. Leos and fireball are open to all but can sometimes be an acquired taste.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22): Cheap Beer

Overall, Virgos are thought to be kind and smart, and will always lend a hand to someone in need. They are the ones that want to get the job done quickly and with little to no difficulty. Much like your cheap beer of choice (perhaps Natural Light, Bud Light, Keystone, or PBR), Virgos get the job done. They know their purpose and are always down to play the game. Virgos are also known to be friends for life, just like the Miller Light that you remember drinking all throughout your college years.

Libra (September 23 - October 22): Champagne

Libras are known for their kindness, intelligence, values of harmony, and are known to bring people together. Champagne contains similar qualities, as it is often drunk at weddings, engagement parties, on New Year's Eve, and generally, events where people are together and having fun. The fizz and bubbles of champagne well represent Libras' tendencies to be aloof and in the clouds. Libras excel at having the middle ground, much like the fact that champagne is the meeting point for many.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21): Tequila

Many Scorpios are recognized for personality traits like independence, passion, drive, and a hard front protecting their softer emotions. Tequila and Scorpios both seem intimidating at first but have so much more to them than what you initially see. They're reliable and upfront. Much like a bottle of tequila, Scorpios can f*ck you up, but you'll always go back because you love it/them.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21): Whiskey

Being headstrong, strong-willed, independent, and going against the current are all Sagittarius things. All of these traits are also those of the choice drink for college students and elderly men alike: Whiskey. Much like whiskey, Sags are up-front about things and are proud to be who they are. Both have a "take no shit" kind of attitude and are unapologetically themselves. However, much like a good whiskey, Sagittariuses need some time to age and mature.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19): Scotch

In their most basic form, Capricorns are smart and hardworking, with their goals always in mind and their eyes set towards better things. Capricorns and Sagittariuses are similar, however, Capricorns are much more goal-driven and have a little more of a head on their shoulders–making them just like scotch. While the main difference between scotch and whiskey is their geographic location, it's no secret that scotch is much more of an acquired taste, much like Capricorns. Capricorns take some getting used to, considering that they always know what they want.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18): Rum

Aquarius have two fairly different variations: One being fairly sensitive and closed off, while the other is energetic, exciting, and high-energy. In this way, they're extremely similar to some of my best friends, spiced and white rum. Spiced rum's warmth makes you think of a night at home–maybe sitting by a fireplace, reading a book or watching a movie–much like the somber Aquarius. Alternatively, white rum is sure to prepare you for a night out with your friends where you're bound to have a good time–which is easily comparable to the more eccentric of the Aquarius people.

Pisces (February 19 - March ): White Wine

By far the most important and obvious trait for a Pisces is understanding. Other parts of their personalities include being easy-going, accepting, affectionate, and gentle–making them just like a good white wine. While those with a more advanced palate enjoy a red wine, a delicious and crisp white goes down easily and will always be there when you need it. Pisces are more than willing to lend themselves to you in a time of need, just like how white wine will always be there after a breakup or a long day at the office.

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