Staying Sober in School Doesn’t Mean You’re Missing Out

It’s still easy to have fun in university if you aren’t drinking or doing drugs

(Kristen Frier)

Are you really a university student if you aren’t getting drunk and high off your ass weekly? Pop culture would say no. I am here to tell you they’re wrong.

I started at KPU when I was 18. Like many freshmen, I had already had my first drink but hadn’t been truly drunk. It took me nearly four years after that to drink enough to get intoxicated and it wasn’t even at a party. On top of that, I have never smoked weed or been high in any way. 

Pop culture (and some people I know) would say this makes me boring, but there’s nothing wrong with staying sober. 

Pop culture likes to paint a picture of the perfect university experience as riddled with wild parties full of students getting black-out drunk before an exam. This expectation is built up in television and movies, and more often than not, students are disappointed when their university experience lacks the kinds of parties they won’t remember in the morning. It leaves them with the question, “Am I missing out?”

I can proudly answer: No.  

I am in my fourth year here at KPU and I am having a great time despite never attending a party like the ones you’d see on TV. I’ve met amazing people and have taken part in some really cool projects—all while staying sober.

Everyone has their reasons for staying sober. I limit my drinking because alcoholism runs in my family. When I do drink, I am usually with my friends playing video games in my basement where it’s safe to lose our inhibitions. 

As for drugs, specifically marijuana, I pinky-swore my dad when I was 12 that I would never smoke a day in my life, and though the temptation is there, I haven’t broken that promise. 

I will admit that I sometimes feel left out in classes when classmates discuss their drunken or high adventures. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I have awkwardly laughed and pretended to relate to them because I want people to like me. When I feel like this, I often wish I was just like the university students in TV shows and movies that hold dorm-wide parties every night. But then I remind myself: KPU doesn’t have dorms and that just isn’t who I am.

“But Alix, without alcohol, how do you have fun at clubs or parties?”

Well, for one, I don’t go clubbing. At parties, if I am with people I like and enjoy spending time with, I have fun regardless of whether I’m drinking or not. On the off chance that I am at a party with people I don’t know, I’ll stay sober. 

If you do drink and get high at parties, be safe and live your life. If you want to stay sober, that’s cool too. It is your choice. I am not going to stop you or go out of my way to shame you, and you should do the same for people like me

Most of us only experience university once. We should do it the way we want to, not the way somebody else wants us to.

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