It’s the weekend and students are knocking on each other’s doors, sending text messages, all asking the same thing: “What are you doing tonight? But more importantly, who’s getting the alcohol?”
Although the drinking is age 21 in the United States, often on college campuses, alcohol and the weekend go hand-in-hand. At Quinnipiac, if students under 21 have alcohol in their room, they can get written up. Yet, most students are willing to risk the punishment. Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Carol Boucher said in an interview with The Chronicle last year that some students consider drinking to be a “rite of passage.”
Some students are careful, keeping track of how much they drink and not getting out of control. Others pay no attention to how much they are putting in their bodies and end up stumbling home, waking up with no recollection of the night before.
But not me.
When I was about 5 years old, my cousins and I swore that we would never drink alcohol. It made you act crazy and silly and we wanted no part of it. Fourteen years later, I am the only one who has kept that promise.
People think I’m foolish.
“You shouldn’t limit yourself based on a decision you made when you were 5,” they tell me. “A little bit of alcohol is not going to kill you. It just loosens you up, makes you feel good, makes you have more fun.”
Yet, drinking does not, and should not, equate to fun. If students want to drink, that is their decision. However, if people feel they have to put a drug in their body to make themselves have a good time, then that reflects a deep problem in the way young people think. Happiness does not have to be found at the bottom of the bottle. Being happy is a choice and if students like how drinking takes away their inhibitions, they can choose to act carefree while they are sober.
Not drinking has never hindered my ability to enjoy myself on campus. Going sober does not lead to a life of exclusion and solitude. I can still go out and pop M&M’s and chug water as others take shots.
Thankfully, most people at Quinnipiac are respectful of my decision not to drink. I am forever grateful for my current and past roommates for never pressuring me to take a shot. One of the most important parts about drinking in college, besides watching how much you consume, is respecting one’s right to choose whether or not to drink. If someone wants to go to Toad’s and get inebriated, that is his or her own business. If I want to spend my Saturday night watching television and playing board games with friends, I should not be judged.