Tuesday, January 7, 2014

College sans alcohol

Tell us about a time when you didn't bend to peer pressure, and you swam against the stream.

The first few weeks of college usually conjures up images of new classes, bonding among fellow classmates, and drunken debauchery.  Well the first two applied to me and the the latter not so much.
My freshman year of college I chose to be on a substance-free hall.  Our dormitory hall was encouraged to have fun without the social lubricant that is alcohol.  I was just 17 when I started college and I was intent on meeting people and having fun without drinking.  And I did meet people!  I made friends who chose to drink and friends who didn't.  I didn't take part in wild parties like most other freshmen but I thoroughly enjoyed the pizza parties and movie nights with the people on my floor.  Perhaps my anti-alcohol stance until 21 can be attributed to my upbringing in church or the morals that my parents instilled in me, but mostly I think it's just that I wanted to be in control and I didn't want to break the law.  I didn't want to wake up wondering what I had done last night or throw up in the courtyard.  I enjoyed being a nerd in college and I didn't care if that made me different. Sure, sometimes I felt like the odd one out when everyone else was discussing the wild frat party but in the end, I wanted to have fun on my terms.

I studied abroad at age 20 in Spain where drinking was permitted for 18+.   The fact that I had not drank before (outside of sips of my parents' drinks) made the Spanish sangria even tastier.  And when I turned 21, I used my ID for the first time to buy none other than a margarita!   Was it worth the wait?  Yes.

What about you fellow bloggers?  Are there instances when you swam against the stream?


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