I Waited To Drink Until I Was 21
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I Waited To Drink Until I Was 21

And I regret nothing.

I Waited To Drink Until I Was 21
Jordan Garrett

I spent many years of my younger life believing that everyone waited to drink until it was legal, or 21 years of age. Coming up into high school I began to realize that this wasn't true. I had friends who went out and partied every weekend, did stupider stuff than they usually did, and then wanted to do it all again the next weekend. This absolutely baffled me. I didn't understand why drinking was such a big deal; in fact I thought it was really stupid. Once when I was in 10th or 11th grade, I even left a party because my friends started drinking. Really. I called my dad and made him pick me up because I was so uncomfortable in the environment.

Around senior year I started getting used to the fact that my friends were going to drink no matter how much I didn't like it. I fell hard for a guy who drank every weekend and I started going to parties with him and drinking water or juice while everyone else got hammered. I told myself that it didn't matter that they were drinking, it was just important that I had fun. And I did.

This is why, when I finally got to college, going to parties with a bunch of drunk kids didn't really bother me anymore. It still wasn't my first choice of ways to entertain myself though, so I only went out two or three times my first semester.

Then I joined a sorority, and let me tell you, I was scared. I'd heard the horror stories about hazing, and I was terrified that they were going to make me drink. Maybe at that point in my life it shouldn't have mattered anymore, after all, most kids start drinking once they get to college. But it mattered to me. I still wasn't comfortable with the idea of drinking and I'd already decided that I was going to wait until I was 21 to start. But I needn't have worried. I'd joined a sorority of amazing women who would never have made me do anything, and instead of pressuring me to drink, these ladies encouraged me to stay on the path I'd begun and make it to my 21st birthday.

Of course, I was pressured a bit by outside sources, but at some point even the fraternity guys were protecting the personal goal I'd set for myself. If we were at a party and someone who didn't know that I didn't drink tried to give me alcohol, they'd be met with a chorus of "no!" and "she doesn't drink!" by everyone standing nearby. I can't tell you how special it was for me to know I could count on all of these people to keep me safe even if they didn't hold the same opinions as me. Instead of walking into a party and being force fed a shot, I walked in and heard, "so how many days until your 21st?" I never feared leaving my drink unattended on a table because I always knew I could trust everyone around.

And finally the day came. After three years of college and waiting and waiting and waiting, my 21st birthday finally came. I spent the night with some amazing friends and family, and I truly had fun. The next day I was asked "so do you regret waiting so long to start drinking?" and the answer is no. Absolutely not. I am so proud that I waited until I turned 21 and I'm glad I spent three sober years in college meeting everyone and having fun with them as me, not me under the influence.

I guess my moral of the story is that cliche line: "you don't need alcohol to have fun." Go ahead and roll your eyes here, it's fine. But I'm serious. I had so much fun going to parties and just hanging out (and making fun of the stupid stuff everyone else was doing). You can have the time of your life sober. You just have to stop relying on alcohol.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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