Yes, I Go To A Party School And Yes, I Choose Not To Drink

Yes, I Go To A Party School And Yes, I Choose Not To Drink

It is not because of my religion or because I have had a bad experience in the past or for some medical reason.
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I find it really interesting that one of the most commonly asked questions I receive is why I don’t drink. It’s funny because it really isn’t that big of a deal, but for some reason when I tell people at parties that I would just rather have water or a coke, the reaction is always extreme. To clarify, I have no issue with drinking. Literally, all of my friends drink and I am used to being around people who are; so, it really doesn’t bother me. As for why I choose not to, I genuinely do not feel the need to drink. In my opinion, people drink to have a good time and I feel like I don’t need it to enjoy myself. That is it. It is not because of my religion or because I have had a bad experience in the past or for some medical reason. I am not saying I will never do it, but I am saying that for the time being it is not really my thing.

With that said, I wanted to write this article because school recently started back up again. More than ever, I am hearing from my friends who are incoming freshman all the things that they want to do and try. Many of those things having to do with partying and drinking. Again, I have nothing against people doing those things. However, I do often question people’s motives behind doing them. When talking to one of my freshman friends, he mentioned how excited he was to go to his first college party. He went on to say many things including how excited he was to get drunk and go to bars underage with his fake. I asked him why he wanted to use his fake id since I have had many friends who have had really bad experiences when they have used theirs. He replied by saying everyone else is using their fake id and want to get drunk, so he just wants to fit in. This attitude, specifically, is what I have an issue with.

I feel like more than ever, people feel the need to do things just cause everyone else is. This feeling is even more intense when you are starting off in college because at that time all you want to do is find your group of friends and fit in. However, I think it is important to realize that sometimes what everyone else is doing is not necessarily what you should be doing. And if the only reason why you want to do a specific activity is because you do not want to be left out, then maybe the people pressuring you to do it shouldn’t be the people you are hanging around.

I know that many people reading this will think to themselves that the issues I am talking about are not that big of a deal. And to some extent you are correct. Drinking and partying are indeed a part of the college experience and something that the majority of kids want to take part in. However, if you are someone like me who isn’t really into that, I want this article to be a reminder that your choice is still equally as valid. As someone who has had to defend myself many times for my choices, I feel like this can be and hopefully is a healthy reminder that whether we are talking about college habits or something completely different, the choices you make and the actions you take should indeed be yours. Peer pressure is something that can be overcome and it is okay to say no.

Cover Image Credit: Nidhi Singh

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Why Getting Away From Where You Grew Up Is Important

College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.
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As you get older, life sometimes makes it hard for you to take control and go to the places you've only dreamed of. There's always a work meeting, ballet recital, or something to hold you back from taking that trip planned four summers ago. College is the perfect time to get away from home and go out into the real world.

It's important to get away from everything you know at one point in your life. There is a whole world full of risk, chance, and experience. The security you have in your hometown can be traded in for adventure and change. There's a time to try something new, learn something that blows your mind, or go somewhere that takes your breath away. That time is now, to feel like you are actually doing something worthwhile with your life.

It is important to get away from where you have grown up for some of your life. You need to grow on your own, without anyone there to tell you you're wrong or out of line being a certain way. The transition from high school to college is the gift of independence. You choose who you get to be without anyone holding your past against you. It's a do-over, a second chance after the mistakes and regrets you lived through in high school. Yet, being away from home has its drawbacks as you lose familiar faces, a steady schedule, and many creature comforts. But, all of these can be found in a new place with time. Leaving the place you grew up gives you another chance to grow again, without boundaries. Travel whenever you get an opportunity because it may not come again. Test your limits while living your actual dreams. Go out and explore the world—you're only here once and don't have time to take it for granted. Leaving everything you know sounds scary, but there are great memories to be made out there.

Whether this new place for you is two hours from home, or 20, it's different, it's exciting and it's change. It is important to get away from where you grew up and learn from the adventures you embark on. It is the best way to find yourself and who you want to be. It's what you'll remember when you look back on everything you've done.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Burns

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

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First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

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