Red Solo Cup… should I fill you up?

Drinking in college: the ultimate dilemma faced by so many new students each year. In the interest of full transparency, I had my first drink long before my first year of college. In all honesty, I was part of a friend group in high school who primarily spent their weekends at house parties, drinking. So when I got to college, alcohol was no stranger. Yet I was still unsure of myself. I hadn’t realized how big of a party school I was coming to, and I wasn’t that crazy about drinking. Of course in the beginning I just wanted to make friends and have all the experiences, so my first semester was filled with plenty of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights spent in bars (lucky for my friends and I, Miami bars let you in at 18 years old). Sometimes it was crazy fun, most times it was mediocre at best.

I began to find myself staying in more and more, only to feel more isolated than before. So naturally I switched tactics and began going out more to be out and about with people more often. Once I found friends I truly clicked with, it became less about going out and drinking and more about just having a fun time with my friends. I still go out today, but again, mostly because I want to be around my friends – and because it’s one of the only things to do in Oxford, Ohio.

So the question is: how do you feel about drinking? Is drinking something integral to your college experience? Is drinking something you’re vehemently against? Either way, there are options. There is not a single school in this country where EVERY person drinks. If you don’t drink, there are so many other things to do. Find friends who feel similarly, and you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on a thing. If you do enjoy drinking, there will be options to do so. A word of caution:

One) Drinking under 21 is illegal. Not saying it won’t ever happen, but if you choose to participate you need to be aware that there are serious consequences that could follow. Ask yourself how important this is to you, because it matters.

Two) Don’t drink just because you feel social pressure to. Never drank before? Go to a party with people you trust and try it out if you’re interested. Go slow and be conscious of what you’re doing. Everyone says it, but, never leave your drink unattended, watch your drink being made (or better yet make it yourself), and don’t push yourself past your limits. “Blacking out” does not make you cool, or fun, it makes you a danger to yourself.

Three) Drinking doesn’t have to be a black or white issue. You can choose to participate sometimes, and choose not to participate others. What’s important is that you do what you are most comfortable with. Always remember that your actions follow you. Surround yourself with people who help you be the best version of yourself, stay true to yourself, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

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