Down it, Fresher!

Someone once told me that you're not an alcoholic until you graduate. We heard this and laughed while binge drinking over the weekend on a rooftop bar, sipping our fruity cocktails and thinking nothing of it. I guess that's the beauty of the phrase, right? We can enjoy the irony as we attempt to destroy our livers, following what we presume is what we are supposed to do as students. Down it, fresher! I can't say that I'm not guilty in this cycle of drinking. Hell, I make my own wine in my closet and am sipping a gin and lemonade as I write this. I'm not as heavy of a drinker as I used to be, partially due to money and a higher standard of alcohol, but also due to working in the morning. I do have a beer everyone once and a while when dragged out to a social event, but not at the levels my peers were chugging back tequila shots faster than their stomachs could bring it back up. It's not fun being the most sober person in the room, and maybe that's a reason why we do it, in silent competition with one another. Or we know that the most sober of us is the one who has to take care of the most drunk one and spends their night in the hospital as their friend gets their stomach pumped. On the other hand, maybe it's the ever-depreciating mental state of the country's youth. I remember living with several other STEM students my first year at university, and when I was stress crying in my room, questioning my ability to carry on, I was told to drink. I liked the way it felt, just enough to calm me down. Relax, enjoy a glass of wine (preferably with a bath and a good book) and breathe. But my fellow students can't go a day without drinking something. Chugging cider after cider, shot after shot. Doesn't matter the day, or the plans for tomorrow. It's about living in the now. I always joke about being an alcoholic when people see my beer fridge in my room, but the number of cans rarely change. I know a girl who pours 10 shots or more in her drink, or as she puts it "until I can taste it," and assumes its four. I think it comes down to the culture, which is probably where the saying comes from. University students drink and study. We're young, we don't get hangovers. But I find it really sad. I'm not against drinking, but I am when you get to the point where you're belligerent and blackout. Moderation is key, but I fear many of us won't get to that point. Have fun in university, enjoy hanging out with friends. This is the only time your life will be like this. I just can't help but feel sorry for the girl who'd rather spend hundreds of dollars on cheap booze than more than $30 a month on food. The girl who talks constantly about wanting to travel, but would rather have that $50 case of beer every week. But hey, it's only alcoholism if we're graduated.

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