It's Okay That I Don't Drink In College

It's Okay That I Don't Drink In College

Just because everyone else does, doesn't mean you have to.

Imagine going to a friend's apartment and they ask:

"Hey, do you want a beer?"

"No, that's okay. I don't drink," I respond without thinking twice.

Let's pause here for a moment. Who would have guessed that in the matter of seconds that it takes to say six one to two syllable words that I could go from being a potentially cool girl into a social outcast who has five heads, breathes fire, and has a tail?

Yeah, neither did I. But, just trust me, it is absolutely possible.

From the moment I started college a year and a half ago, I learned something very quickly: don't tell people you don't drink unless they specifically ask. I'm serious. Don't believe me? Try it yourself and see how many variations of "But, why not?" you're asked.

Trust me, as an almost twenty-year old person in college, it is strange to practically everyone including myself on very rare occasions that I don't drink. It's not that I have a problem with it, that I see alcohol as the "devil," or that I view those who drink in a negative light because I don't.

I simply do not see the thrill in alcohol.

If you want to drink then, please, by all means do so. But, by respecting your desire to drink, please, respect my choice not to.

I believe that it is your preorogative to drink just as it is mine not to.

I wish that people would simply listen to my reasons why I don't or just accept that when I say "No" to a beer that I mean it rather than continually try to persuade me into doing something that I don't have the slightest bit of interest in. However, in reality, when people learn that I don't drink, it seems as though instantly there is a big, neon, flashing sign above my head that reads, "This girl is a buzz-kill" or any of the other adjectives that people have felt were imperative to add to my name from priss to prude and everything else in between.

Choosing not to drink and knowing that people thought I was boring never bothered me in high school. At that time, I didn't care what people thought of me and I had a support system of family and close friends who loved me regardless of my decision. At college it's another story. There is no one there saying "If you don't want to drink, then you don't have to." My will-power and sense of self has been tested multiple times over the year and a half that I have been away from home I have never given into temptation. (Sometimes, to the dismay of some of my closest friends).

I've often thought while I was around those who were drinking that it wouldn't be such a big deal if I did or that everyone else is doing it so it can't be that bad. Or, maybe if I did it would be easier to fit in and make friends. Just as those thought creep into my mind and begin to weaken my will-power, I finally come to my sense.

I realize how silly it is to change the way I act or think to please others and to fit in. I refuse to change the way I feel or act in order to get other people to like me. I know that those who are meant to be in my life will respect my choice not to drink. They will still love me for the person that I am. Most importantly, those people who take the time to respect my decision will be the same people who overlook the neon, flashing sign over-top my head saying "This girl is a buzz-kill" and will get to know the real me rather than the "boring, straight-laced girl" people initially think I am when they hear I don't drink.

I know that I can't be the only person on a college campus who has no interest in drinking. I know that there are people out there who don't want to but do so just to fit in. So, to those people: Just because you are in college and everyone around you is drinking doesn't mean that you have to if you don't want to. Trust me, abstaining from alcohol isn't easy. You're will-power will be tested, you may lose a few friends, and you may be known as "boring" to those who can't look past your choice and get to know you for the incredible person that you are. Follow your heart and do what you want to do rather than what others want. I promise that at the end of the day you'll be happier and at peace with your self knowing that you stayed true to who you are and the things you believe.

Cover Image Credit: College Magazine

Popular Right Now

This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Sociolinguistics Series: Part 50

Language is a powerful tool.


It's part 50--halfway to 100! I'm so glad to still be here writing! In this section, we will talk about Dr. Shikaki's findings on how Palestinians view the state of Israel.

25 years ago, 85% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution. 10 years ago, this number decreased to 70%. Dr. Shikaki believes this was due to an increase in the prominence of Islamism in Palestinian society during the second intifada; Islamists were opposed to the two-state solution. In the most recent survey, the December 2018 one, only 43% of Palestinians supported the two state solution.

In 2000, American President Bill Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Camp David Summit to come up with a solution to the conflict. It ended without an agreement, but in December of 2000, Clinton once again proposed a resolution: the Clinton Parameters.

The content of the Parameters basically allowed Israel to annex settlements while Palestine to take 94-96% of the West Bank, as well as Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. There were other guidelines regarding territory, refugees, security, and the end of the conflict. Essentially, the West Bank would have been split up by Israeli roads and settlements--which is kind of the reality today.

Both the Israeli government and Arafat accepted the terms with reservations, and Arafat wrote to Clinton a letter asking for clarifications on the terms. Clinton and Dennis Ross, an envoy of the Parameters, publicized that Arafat had refused to accept the terms; they painted Palestinians in a negative light, saying that Israel wanted to accept the peace negotiations but Palestine did not.

American Lawyer Robert Malley was at the Camp David Summit and oversaw parts of the Clinton Parameters. In 2001, he said that three myths had come out of the failure of both negotiations, and that these three myths were dangerous to any future peace processes if people kept believing in them.

These myths are as follows: "Camp David was an ideal test of Mr. Arafat's intentions," "Israel's offer met most if not all of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations," and "The Palestinians made no concession of their own."

He said that these three statements were not true but very heavily publicized by America and Israel after the negotiations failed; rather, there is more nuance to each of these issues, and America and Israel have just as much responsibility in the failure of the Summit and Parameters as Palestine did. Malley wrote, "If peace is to be achieved, the parties cannot afford to tolerate the growing acceptance of these myths as reality."

Anyway, what does this have to do with Dr. Shikaki? He polled Palestinians not only on the their attitudes to the two-state solution, but the Clinton Parameters as well. 25 years ago, there was 60% support for the Clinton Parameters by Palestinians, but the June 2018 poll showed that the number had gone down to 37%.

The last ten years shows a significant decrease in public support for both the two-state solution and the Clinton Parameters, and it could be a result of disagreeing with specific parts of the proposals (such as how the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock or Jerusalem is delegated).

I did some further digging when I got home, and I found this data from the UN Division for Palestinian Rights website:

"A 25 December [2000] published poll found that 48% of the 501 Israelis questioned were opposed to the proposals; 57% would object to Palestinian control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound; 72% were against even a limited return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. A 29 December published poll found that 56% of the Israelis would oppose a peace agreement reached on the basis of the Parameters."

This shows that though public media--especially Western media--may have painted the Palestinian government as the villain (and Israel and America as the "victims"), the proposals accepted by either government had varied support among its people.

The Israeli civilian population did not want to accept the Clinton Parameters because of the way certain things would be resolved; their reservations lie with the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in the world for Jews, would have been given to Palestine, while Jews would have control of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (which is the status quo).

In addition, there was a section in the Clinton Parameters that dealt with the right of return for Palestinians, where there would be a certain number of Palestinian refugees who settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while other Palestinians either would become citizens of their host countries, move to a third-party country, or settle back into the land that is Israel Proper (with permission from the Israeli government, of course); many Israelis did not support this.

That was the public opinion years ago. Today, there is even less support for these proposals. Dr. Shikaki outlined three issues as reasons for a decrease in support of compromise, which we will cover in the next section. Stay tuned!

Related Content

Facebook Comments