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You Don't Drink?!

December 30, 2015

 In America the drinking age is 21 while in England it's 18. I never figured that sentence would matter to me until my friend told me about his trip back home to England. Some of those nights included a night of drinking with his friends at a clubs. When I first heard this I was so shocked, I knew that the age was 18 over there but he lives in America so what does his parents think? They were probably, in all honesty, okay with it considering they're British and were in England anyways. But it just confused me, why would you drink?
 I ignored that thought until about maybe the beginning or middle of junior year. That's when I went to my first college party where underage kids were openly drinking out of the stereotypical red plastic cups. I, again, was shocked that people I knew or went to school with wee actually drinking. None of us were 21 let alone really close to being 21. But here they were, a bunch of people in a house drinking whatever people bought. 
Move on to one of the next time I saw people drink; a Halloween party. Now surely, there were adults there. But I was still seeing people drink, even my own friends were drinking with permission from their parents. I ended up holding a pretty much empty can of beer in my hand while my friend went to the bathroom. When a guy came up to me and asked if I wanted anything better, I said "this isn't mine; I don't drink." The looked a little shocked, asked how old I was, and then why I didn't drink. I told him, I'm sixteen and I just don't drink (besides the fact that it's literally illegal). He continued to pressure me into a 'real' answer because he just couldn't believe a girl like me doesn't drink. That's probably the first time I gave someone an answer that wasn't "I break out in handcuffs".
 I don't drink because I literally can't. Not only is it illegal, but I have a disease where if I do; it effects me more than others. I don't see the need to drink, I don't see the desire to drink, I don't see a reason to drink, and I don't see why people drink. I just don't get it. I don't like it. I don't like the way it makes people out of control or just different. It disturbs me. And that's it; that's what I told him. 
 Thankfully the kid behind him at the food table heard everything I was saying. He lifted up his sandwich and nodded his head in agreement. This other guy; we'll call him Dean, knew exactly what I meant. The whole out of control feeling and seeing no pleasure in drinking. He admitted to me somethings about his experiences while drinking. I took the words Dean said to me to heart, because it made me realise that I don't have to feel stupid for saying "I don't drink". Dean and I parted ways after that night and never spoke again, but I'll always remember his words. 
 Not wanting to drink, or wanting to drink, is my option and mine alone. Will I ever drink? Yeah, maybe for special occasions once I'm 21. I've always said that I only have a couple times I'll actually drink. One, on my 21st birthday I'd like to take sips of fruity drinks. Two, my 23rd birthday because 23 is my lucky number as I was born on Feb. 23rd. Three, my wedding and only champagne, but I've heard you don't even get time to drink a whole glass and I'm okay with that. Will I ever get totally drunk one day; probably not but if I do it'll be when I'm with someone I trust at home most likely. Will I drink before I'm 21? I've had maybe 4 little sips to try the taste but haven't found anything I'd actually want to chug down at a party. 
 So when a guy comes up to you, or one of your girl friends hand you a red plastic cup filled with God knows what... If you drink it that's your thing whether you are underage or not. If you don't, you don't. I don't condone underage drinking at all, I literally can't stand it. But it's not my life nor am I your mother so I can't tell you what to do. But just remember, if you tell someone you don't want to drink; don't feel stupid for saying that. Don't let them give you shit about it or try and pressure you. Your feelings aren't stupid in anyway. That's something I have to tell myself almost everyday with certain feelings. And thanks to Dean I no longer feel stupid when saying "I don't drink". So please drink responsibly, if you do and legally can, this New Years Eve. 

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