march, 2019

22mar1:00 am1:00 amWhat's the fun in drinking?by Ariel Deutschmann

alcohol bottles on window sill


You drink a lot for someone who has only turned eighteen a few months ago. Your first time having a drink was in high school, but your first time drunk was in college. In the days before classes start and you were trying to get acquainted with your residence, one person from your floor gives you a mickie of vodka. It’s 7pm, and before it was 8, you had downed half the bottle with some Sprite. Your first time being drunk wasn’t scary. You felt relaxed and good talking to other people. Everyone was so nice when they were drinking. Your high school health class had it all wrong. You were having fun.

The next day, you wake up to a slight headache and a dry mouth. Your friend offers you Gatorade and you go downstairs to grab a greasy breakfast sandwich. As you eat and talk about last night, someone says they know of a party happening nearby tonight, you remember that you’ve got less than a shot left. You’ll need to find someone who can buy you more liquor. This was your first-time drinking, and as the year goes on, you move from finishing mickie’s to finishing 2-6’s.

You become the best at beer pong and taking shots. Your tolerance has become so strong, that you don’t feel anything after you drink four beers. “It’s like a superpower,” you think as you watch your friends turn into blubbering fools, watching them do funny things.

You and your friends wouldn’t miss an opportunity to go out on a Friday night, and you see them more at a party than in class. You also don’t always attend class either. Some days, you pass out the night before and forget to drink some water. You end up throwing up the next day, and you blame your tolerance. When you finish, you learn that another person had went to hospital to get their stomach pumped, and you wonder if that could’ve been you if you had one drink more. But you forget about it when one of your friends says they got on guest list for the newest club downtown.

When coming back for second semester, your friends change. They don’t go out as much as they used to. One tells you their parents flipped when they failed a class. You think they’re a bunch of wusses and can’t keep it together like you. You haven’t failed and you go out almost every night. Everyone loves you. You love drinking. By the time your friends stop being your friends, you go out with a new group of people. They drink as much as you do and it’s great.

Until one night before exam season, it’s not great. You turned nineteen and black out.

You end up being taken away by paramedics and wake up in the hospital bed with an IV tube attached to your wrist and in pain. The doctor says you had your stomach pumped. None of your new friends are here. When you leave, they tell you can’t eat for the rest of the day and to only take liquids. Taking an über back to campus, you learn that one of the people in your group died from alcohol poisoning at the party you were at. For the first time, you reflect on your college experience. Suddenly, you’re scared of what you’ve become and how easy it was to get there. When you get to your room, you dump out the rest of your bottles into the sink. That night is the first time you don’t drink and you wake up feeling better than you have in a long time.

When you move out a couple months, later you’ve gone completely sober. You re-connected with your old friends, and they know how to have fun without drinking and you now know how to do so too. You don’t drink a lot for someone who has turned nineteen a few months ago and that’s okay with you. Not drinking isn’t as bad as you thought.


Photo by Orkhan Farmanli on Unsplash

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