Alcohol is served in almost all college parties. For some, they would even consider a party incomplete without alcohol. When you’re invited to a college party, expect that everyone there will be holding cups filled with different alcoholic beverages while they’re dancing or merely talking. And when you’re lucky enough to join a party hosted by a wealthy college student, alcoholic beverages can come in different flavors, sizes, and brands – as they say, “the more, the merrier.” Many college students would drink alcohol in order to have more fun at parties. And while it can be tempting to hop in that bandwagon, you shouldn’t. Alcohol can pose serious health risks over time and can disrupt your academic performance as a college student. You might even develop drinking problems and addiction.
Alcohol can bring adverse effects to your health, but this doesn’t mean that you should turn down every party invitation in college. You can still have fun in college parties without drinking alcohol. Yes, you’ve read that right! There are many ways on how you’ll enjoy parties – just like everybody else– without putting your health at risk. Here’s how:
1.) Get your drink yourself: When you’re at a party, it’s common to have people get drinks for you. When this happens, you’ll never know what “drink” they will bring to you. They might fill your cup with alcohol and tell you it’s juice. This is especially true when you’re a woman or new to the party scene. Save yourself from this situation by always getting your drink yourself. And while you’re at it, make sure that you’re using a cup similar to what everyone else is using. This can prevent suspicion and help you blend in.
2.) Don’t announce that you’re not drinking: Partying without alcohol can be a challenge and announcing it to everyone in the party can make it tougher to do. When other people know about your plans, they will try to convince you to drink alcohol. And when your closest roommates are there in the party, saying “no” to them isn’t really an option. This is why as much as possible, keep your plants to yourself. Announcing to everyone that you’re not drinking alcohol doesn’t benefit them in any way. In fact, some of them just doesn’t care at all. So just keep it to yourself and try your best to leave the party without a drop of alcohol in your system.
3.) Avoid your backstory: But you should also be prepared to meet someone in the party who knows that you’re not drinking (even without you telling them). When they start asking about the reasons why, immediately change the topic. Drunk people at parties don’t really care about your reasons; most of the time, they’re just looking for a conversation starter. If you think you’ll no longer see this person in the future, respond with a short answer like “I’m not drinking tonight” and start talking about your school’s sports team or how stressful the academic requirements are – any topic that both of you can relate.
On the other side of the coin, if the party involves people whom you’ll spend time in the future (like your colleagues in a college organization, for example), tell them the backstory once. This will keep them from wondering, and this will save you from being offered with alcohol drink every single time there’s a party.
4.) Don’t go to the beer pong room: Beer pongs are probably one of the most common games every college party has. If you know that the party has a beer pong room or basement, avoid those areas at all times. You already know that these areas are filled with alcoholic beverages and drunk people, so it’s better if you avoid temptation. Choose to stay in other areas of the venue.
5.) Satisfy yourself with the snacks: Snacks are a requirement in almost all parties. Party goers will need something to munch on so they can stay up until the party ends. Since you’re trying to get away from alcohol, immediately head out to the snack bar and try out everything that’s been served. This might even be the chance for you to try out healthy snacks or exotic dishes. And since you’re sober while eating, food can taste so much better!
6.) Give yourself a curfew: When you’re a college student, you don’t have the luxury of time to party. You’ll need time to study, meet deadlines and make projects. And while it’s okay to join parties once in a while, don’t let yourself lose track of time. Give yourself a curfew and stick to it no matter how hard it can be. Staying at a party for longer hours can lead to boredom, and this can motivate you to drink alcohol to keep you occupied. Once you reach your curfew, inform the host that you’re leaving. You can even mention the tasks you have on your plate, so the host will be convinced why you’ll have to leave.
7.) Try the buddy system: Avoiding alcohol can become easier once you have someone who shares the same goal. Instead of fighting alcohol temptations on your own, decide to show up at a party with a friend who doesn’t drink. You can bring your French class friend or roommate – it doesn’t really matter who. With a buddy with you, you can have each other to have fun during parties!
8.) Bring your own beverage: Just because you’re not drinking any alcoholic beverages doesn’t mean that you have to settle with water throughout the party. If you can, bring your own beverage to a college party. There are many nonalcoholic beverages on the market so make sure you purchase those before going out. You can also come up with your own mocktail and show up at the party bringing a cocktail shaker. Nothing screams “I’m ready to party” than a cocktail shaker, right?
9.) Focus on the conversations: One way of having fun during parties is by focusing on conversations. If you consider yourself as an outgoing person, use parties as an avenue for you to meet new people and talk to them about anything and everything under the sun. If you’re shy, stick to the people whom you already know and take the time to get to know them better. If you see your classmate at a party, have the guts to talk to her. When you start to make conversations with people, you’re slowly creating healthy relationships while diverting your attention from alcohol.
10.) Put your phone down: When people see that you’re always on your phone, they would think that you’re either bored or uninterested with the party. They would offer you a drink thinking that this can be the solution for you to at least, have fun. Sure, you can always decline the offer, but when you’re offered several times (because you’re still on your phone), you might just end up accepting the drink especially if the host is the one doing it. If you see yourself playing games at the party ever since you arrived, go home. If you’re using your phone to combat your shyness, putting your phone down and talking to other people might be a better solution.
You’ll Reap What You Sow
Being in college means you’re already an adult. You’re expected to make sound decisions on your own without depending on what your parents will say. And among all the decisions you have to make, being sober throughout your entire college life should be one of them. Don’t let peer pressure get into you and push you to do things which you might regret in the long run. College might be the perfect time for you to socialize with other people but don’t let it become your sole focus. Create a balance between socializing and your studies. Learn to avoid temptations as early as possible. Doing this might be hard at first but when you’re able to finish college with flying colors, you’ll be happy for every effort you’ve made throughout your college life!
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