Being in a university surrounded by consistent partiers, it seems as though everybody is indulging in some form of alcoholic beverage and having the time of their lives while doing so. But what about those times that everybody goes through at least once? What if you’re sick of drinking? What if you don’t want to drink anymore? Being in such a college surrounding where almost everyone is drinking, it’s easy to feel self-conscious. You might feel like a “square” when you choose not to drink. This feeling causes people to continue their daily routine of alcoholism and leads them to becoming dependent on alcohol. Little do they know, there is a way that you can still go out and have a good time without going straight to the glass bottle as soon as you get to the party.
STEP #1: Watch Out For Your “Friends”
An explanation that is often used when excusing alcohol indulgence is the fact that all of your friends are doing it. But here’s a question that you should think about, especially when it comes to hanging out with a different set of people than you are use to: Are these people really my friends? Many students in college admit that they cannot hang out with the friends they have developed unless they are under the influence of alcohol. If it gets to that point where you can’t even be around a certain group of people for fifteen minutes without needing a drink, this means you are hanging out with the wrong crowd. Remember, friends aren’t just people you can “have fun” with. They also need to be reliable sources and trustworthy peers. Keep this in mind: getting drunk to have fun with people is not having fun at all. That’s just masking your feelings and conforming to what you believe to be “cool”. Drinking for other people isn’t cool. It’s ignorant, and ignorance is not bliss.
STEP #2: Be Comfortable With Your Own Personality
It’s scientifically proven that alcohol alters your behavior in drastic ways. You end up doing things you wouldn’t normally do. It’s an obvious boost of confidence, since you are unaware of possible stupidity. Answer this question: Do you really want to be someone you’re not? A lot of people who drink only do so because they want to be brave, spontaneous, or more outgoing. But you can do that on your own. If you’re not comfortable being yourself in the surroundings you’re in, chances are you shouldn’t be there. Find a place where you can truly embrace your genuine nature with a genuine group of friends. You don’t need an alcoholic drink to feel good about yourself or to be comfortable with yourself. You don’t have to be the “life of the party”. Just be you. You’ll have more fun.
Here are a few tips to get your confidence up without a red plastic cup of vodka in your hands:
- Know your morals. Knowing immediately what you are and are not willing to do is the best way to determine your comfort zone.
- After determining your morals, set boundaries for yourself. Having a clear guideline in your head is very self-assuring, since nobody wants to disappoint themselves. Having boundaries means you have something worth censoring. It adds self-esteem to your moral value, and truly allows you feel better about the type of person you are.
- Know your crowd. If you don’t like hanging around a bunch of gossiping valley girls, don’t go to a place where these gossiping valley girls are bountiful. This is just walking into an uncomfortable situation. Only hang out with those that bring you up, not put you down.
- Understand that not everyone will like you. There isn’t one person in this world that is universally loved by everybody they come across. It’s an impossible task, so don’t push for it. If someone’s being rude, just smile through the blows. You won’t have to see them all of the time, so don’t fret over it. They have nothing you want, so you don’t have to be anything they want. Let the haters hate, and go on with your beautiful life.
- Just breathe. It’s normal to be nervous around new groups of people, even if you like who they are. It’s not always good to sit in the background and let others do the talking. Get your voice out at least once. The more you converse with your peers, the more relaxed you become. It’s inevitable that you will click with someone. Silence is not always golden.
STEP #3: Look At All The Others And Laugh
Once you’ve been in college for a significant amount of time, you’ve seen what everybody else has seen. One night you’re about to go to bed, and then out of nowhere, some hammered, drunk girl comes stumbling into view, slurring her words, and making an obnoxious scene while people either point and laugh or point and gasp. Do you seriously want to be that girl? Do you seriously want to be one of those annoyed friends having to hoist her up once she vomits on the floor? No, I’m sure you don’t. Instead of being hammered, make humor out of those who are. This is one of the best ways to get through a party where people are drinking. Start dancing with a drunken person. Goof on a drunken person. Speak to a drunken person and develop a funny conversation. Think of the satisfaction you will have in the morning when you’re still laughing about the outrageous events from the night before while the “hung-overs” can’t even remember what they were wearing. Sometimes, it’s better to be the sober friend. You get many more laughs.
STEP #4: Do Something Different
Let’s be honest. You can’t go to a party every single weekend. Pretty soon, that’s going to get a bit boring, especially when you’re living in the same city for 4-5 years. Sure, partying is a universal fad. But instead of hitting the club on a Friday and Saturday night, why don’t you do something that’s personal to you? Instead of “Popscene”, go to the movies. Instead of hitting up a Castro bar for drinks, go to a piano bar and listen to some local talent. There are so many different things to do in San Francisco than going to a different club every time you get the chance. Apply your own personality and your own likings and decide accordingly. If you’re an athlete, go to a Giants game. If you’re an artist, go see a live band. If you’re into performance, go see a play or a musical. I know that some of these things might be expensive, but think about it. That two weeks’ worth of money you paid to go to the same club four nights in a row, you could have spent on a nice pair of tickets to your favorite band’s concert.
So as you can see, there are many alternative ways to have fun, especially in this massively diverse city of ours. You don’t have to resort to drinking to have a good time in college. It all depends on you. Think about it.