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.