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Exploring Our Relationships With Alcohol within the Norms of College

The end of the week rolls around and the urge to shut the laptop, close the books and turn on your favorite pre-game playlist may almost feel euphoric and so long-awaited. As many TikTok videos have sarcastically nuanced, it’s as if we get to play dress up and live a different life for those 3-5 hours of the ultimate college antic – “going out”. The “mixies” and the shots are then poured, dance moves pulled out, drunk texts are sent, and the night is closed with some delicious carb loading. Now, you’ve got yourself a typical college Thursday night. Next thing you know– it’s 7 am the next day, my stomach has dropped, and my head is left in shambles. I now find myself speculating the infamous: “what happened last night”. Widely known as “hangxiety”, oftentimes, drinking propels me into this inexplicable realm of self-guilt and – what appears to be in the moment – anxiety beyond repair.

The morning after iced coffees and breakfast bagels might temporarily defer the day-long depression, but this consistent cycle of drinking and the subsequent aftermath calls to questions of our repetitive drinking behavior. Does this liquid courage worth the cost of our memories, health, and a day of sickness? The immediate answer seems to be an easy “no,” yet when Thursday comes around, that “no” gets lost in translation as a “hell yes.” Drinking has deemed itself as such an easy response and frequent solution: Hard week? Let’s drink. Job offer? Let’s drink. Need to relieve your social anxiety? Let’s drink. And so, the list goes on. To my demise, there might not be an exact solution but perhaps slowly exploring the reason behind the frequent mentality of the “let’s drink” response might be a good place to start.

The practice of binge drinking and its commitment to every college social event might never leave the formality of “going out,” but productive questioning and realistic alternatives can beg otherwise. With that, I encourage you to try some sober nights here and there and to get comfortable with ditching the tequila. Reflect on how you feel, and how being sober begins to add to your night rather than take it away. Last but not least, enjoy your hangover-less Sunday.

I say let’s give this a try. 

Julia is a freshman at the University of Michigan, currently pursuing business and law. Her passions include fitness, style, mental health awareness.
Jamie Murray

U Mich '24

I'm a sophomore at the University of Michigan, my major is Political Science and I hope one day to go to law school. As an Aquarius, I hope to have some unique ideas and takes for Her Campus articles. And I'm excited to meet new friends along the way.
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