The social implications of staying sober while partying in university

As a Laurier student, you are guaranteed to experience the odd night out. Whether it be Pub on King, Phil’s or just your friends’ apartment, there’s always an opportunity to go out and have a good time.

As a fourth-year student, I have had my fair share of late nights on the Phil’s dance floor or at Chainsaw, avoiding the friends I knew would try and make me get on the stage for karaoke.

Looking back on the past three years, I have little regret when it comes to spending the night drinking.

However, recently I’ve gone through a little bit of a self-reflection that began when I started going out with one of my good friends.

Whenever we went out together, she typically made the decision not to drink. It wasn’t because of health or religious reasons, but purely because in that moment, she felt that she didn’t want to be drinking.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going to the bar and taking shots with your friends or having a casual glass of wine.

Does that mentality mean that I have to drink every time I’m in a social situation with alcohol?

That first night we went out together, she had to explain to at least three people why she wasn’t drinking, all three of whom did not take her explanation seriously.

“I just didn’t feel like drinking,” didn’t sound like it was an appropriate answer.

It seemed that if you didn’t have a very strong personal value that coincided with being exclusively sober, it didn’t make sense for you not to drink when going out.

When did this line become so clearly drawn? It seems that either you make a commitment to never drink or you have no excuse to not have a beer.

That’s when I started to think about why I was drinking when I went to the bar. Was it to have a good time? Sometimes, yes. But other times? No.

Considering that I spent majority of the summer going out with this friend, I soon began to also forgo drinks when I wasn’t in the mood.

All of a sudden, I could go out, have fun all night and wake up the next morning without knowing that I’d be hungover all day.

Now, I leave it up to the moment to decide whether or not I feel like having a drink and I’ve learned to appreciate those sober nights just as much as the drunken ones.

This is not to say that university students are alcoholics or that we go out specifically to consume alcohol. However, sometimes it’s easy to forget that other people shouldn’t be the ones deciding what factors should go into how much fun you’re having on that dance floor.

Whether or not you decide to drink next time you go out, just know that either way, the pizza will be just as good at the end of the night.

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