Unfortunately, oftentimes college students who do not drink feel like outcasts on their campuses. We’re the people who would rather watch a movie on a Saturday night than dance on a table and puke our brains out. We’re not the people who claim to be your friend in an intoxicated state that you don’t hear from until next weekend. We’re the ones who will be your friend in the daylight, who won’t let the stories that define our friendship begin with “remember that time we were so wasted.” We’re the ones who feel like we’re at college to study, not to see if we can stay coherent in our 9:30 a.m. classes while we’re hungover. We’re not the good guys or the bad guys, we’re just genuinely us.
We refuse to give in to the stigma that college students have to load up on solo cups and ping pong balls every Friday night. Instead, our Friday nights are spent with Chinese food and a pair of earbuds. We’re the ones enjoying the silence of the gym at 10 a.m. on a Saturday because everyone else is still sleeping their night off. Maybe we’ll never have a random hookup or a fake ID, but that doesn’t make us naive or goody goodys. Maybe we don’t drink because we don’t like the idea of forcing a burning liquid down our throats only for it to come back up several hours later. Maybe we don’t like losing control to the point of blacking out or forgetting our evening. Maybe we’re just on medication that can’t be mixed with alcohol. Maybe we just want no part of it. Maybe that’s okay.
It’s okay to defy the mold that everyone else gives in to. It’s okay to be your own person, because the chances are, all the drunk people are too afraid to be. A lot of times it’s hard to find people who understand and even harder to find people to actually have sober weekends with. Being the sober kid on campus can be lonely. It can be frustrating. You feel like you’re missing out on something and question why you have to be so different from everyone else. But haven’t we be asking ourselves this all our lives? Not liking drinking is like not liking scary movies – you’re not going to give in and watch The Grudge just to feel liked or included. (At least I wouldn’t, because that shit would give me nightmares for weeks.)
Sober doesn’t mean weird. It doesn’t mean different. But I guess it doesn’t mean normal either. But neither does drunk. And sober doesn’t have to mean lonely. Don’t give into the darkness you feel when your house is empty on a Saturday night when everyone leaves without you. Go make yourself some brownies and put some ice cream on that, because you’d rather spend your calories on the good stuff. Am I right?