I'm Not Going to Drink That...

These two girls don’t drink a lot. Paris just started a medication a few months ago and can’t really drink a ton because of it … so she’s mostly just stopped drinking. And Cam has some liver issues that make drinking not her thing. 

They’ve noticed that this sets us apart from our peers every once in a while, and they wanted to talk about it... Here are a few thoughts from them: 

 

From Paris: 

I’ve never been a huge drinker, but a lot of my friends are. Although I don’t go out a ton to bars, clubs, or even house parties, I used to have one to two beers or ciders when I am out or I am at a friend’s party at home. A lot of games at parties revolve around alcohol and it is a way for everyone to be involved, have a shared goal, and drink (which many people use as a way to shed some of their social anxieties). 

Throughout the past few months, I have been trying a new medication in which I’ve found out doesn’t mix well with alcohol. I found this out because the few times that I got tipsy (which just about takes two drinks at all), I had suicidal panic attacks the next day. Not worth drinking AT ALL anymore while I am on this medication. 

This just about effects two things: I hang out less with certain friend groups and I’ve seen people’s reactions change if I do hang out with these groups… I have noticed that some of my friends generally like to drink when they get together, although I didn’t drink much when I did hang out with these groups, I still would feel more “normal” when I had a drink in my hand and was able to slowly sip throughout the night. With a drink in my hand, no one would ask me things like, “are you drinking?” or “want a drink?” or “dude, why aren’t you drinking?” or “come on, just one beer.” The list, as you all know, goes on. 

What is interesting is that once I really stuck up for myself and bluntly said, “I can’t I’m on medication. I get really bad suicidal panic attacks the next day,” the people at parties not only stopped pressuring me to drink, but they actually became my protectors. Someone else later would yell across the room, “hey do you want a drink?” And someone else would swoop in fast and say, “No, no, she can’t. She’s on medication!” Cool, right? 

How interesting that we all want each other to drink, until we can’t. What it comes down to, I think, is that everyone wants each other to be happy and have a fun time. College students in these environments normally filled with alcohol, just want to make sure you are okay. They see that if you have alcohol, you’ll be okay. 

From Cam: 

I personally don’t drink because I have liver issues. When I say don’t drink, I mean I would rather not drink to take care of my body instead. I can have a beer, a glass of wine or a shot from time to time, but drinking is not my priority at a party. 

My priority is to have fun, and for most people that seems I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E without alcohol. It’s not that hard. You just think it’s hard because everyone around is pitying you and keep telling you it must be hard. 

There are a few things to keep in mind if you don’t drink at parties to make your life easier. First, when you are at a party, sober and uncomfortable, just know everyone is drunk and nobody is looking at you or cares about what you are doing. Just have fun and let loose with your friends. Second, if you feel out of place being the only one without a drink, I suggest buying non-alcoholic beers. My favorite one is the Heineken 0.0. If you’ve ever had the regular Heineken beers in the past, they taste exactly the same and the labels are so similar no one will notice it’s a non-alcoholic one. I‘ve brought those in the past at parties, put them in my beer pong cups, played with everyone and had the time of my life. 

The inevitable factor that occurs is you becoming the designated driver. You are the only one constantly sober so it is almost natural that you are the DD. But don’t feel like you have to be. Taking care of 3 other people is very draining and not pleasant in most scenarios. If you don’t want to be it, tell your friends and pick someone else as a DD. They will see just how wild things are. 

Our last thoughts… 

We just scratched the surface of this big topic of college drinking (being a part of it and not!). As time goes on and we learn more about how to best interact in the drinking world with our peers, we will add more thoughts here on Her Campus.