Sobering Up

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Alcohol and I have been best friends for a couple of years. Our relationship started the summer after my freshman year of college as a way to connect with my buddies. In order to have a good social life in college it sometimes feels like students have to drink. On the weekends, students may be watching the newest superhero movie, or may be at some boring, yet educational lecture, but it is far more likely that they are getting wasted at a house party or bar.

Slowly and begrudgingly, my opinions, beliefs and feelings about alcohol have shifted. As of the beginning of August, I walked away from my old habit and haven’t really missed it. Sure, I still go to bars to hang out and socialize, but I set some clear boundaries. I am not going to drink anymore, no matter what, even if the drinks are free.

I would be lying if I said the change was not at least partially motivated by religious reasons. An object at rest stays at rest, and if not for a desire to become a more serious Christian I probably would have kept drinking. As you will find out, I had other reasons to want to quit, but none were as strong as religion.

I did not get brainwashed at some Christian retreat, and I do not think that alcohol is morally evil. Rather, I started to get personally convicted about several areas of my life, and I decided to make a change.

I did try to fight this shift for a while. Instead of giving up drinking completely, I figured I could merely limit myself to one adult beverage on any given night. Anybody who can do that has a lot more self-control then I do. Unfortunately for me, I have some obscenely well-off friends who buy free drinks for other people, and my artificial limits were not strong enough to maintain my little rule.

The truth is, at the time I wasn’t even sure if I could just not drink. I thought my friends would pressure me and alcohol was so much fun. Sure, I knew a lot of people who didn’t go out on the weekends, but then again I also knew a lot of boring people.

Eventually, I realized that drunken fun is more entertaining than sober fun, but it is also stupid and harder to remember. I spent a couple sober nights in Aggieville watching the inebriated masses, and I started to distrust the positive feelings I got while drunk. At the time I might think I was clever and incredibly awesome, but in reality most talking under the excessive influence of alcohol is obnoxious. Also, losing your inhibitions may be fun, but it also means you do things you will not approve of later. Starting my own personal temperance movement may have seemed difficult at the time, but now I still get to spend time with my friends without having to feel guilty or sick the next day.

In addition, not drinking is really cheap. When I go to bars with my friends now, they spend three to four dollars per drink while I sip on water with lemon. Let me say, it is really nice not to have to worry about the ridiculous $10 card limit most bars have.

I did not write this to prove I am better than everybody else. I wrote this because a curious friend said he thought this story would be interesting to the student body. After thinking about it for a while I agreed to do it because I do not want other students to feel like they have to drink to have fun on a Friday night. Since the start of my individual crusade, I have talked with a lot more people than I expected who said they were trying to cut back on drinking, or wished they had more self-control. I want this article to support those people, and enable them to live to up to their utmost expectations for themselves.

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