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Posted By iamincontrol | August 7, 2014
I don’t remember exactly when it started, but I think it was in 8th grade – the day that alcohol joined my friend group. I remember feeling shocked when I first found out that some of my friends had started to drink. At first it wasn’t very many of them, and we were able to maintain our friendships despite our differences. Then we got to high school, and everything went downhill quickly.
My friends started slipping under the control of alcohol. By the time we were sophomores, the majority of my friends, both guys and girls, were drinking almost every weekend. I didn’t approve of their choices, but I tried to maintain the friendships. However, it was really difficult to do that when I couldn’t hang out with them on the weekends, unless I wanted to drink. Slowly, they began to dislike me because I wouldn’t succumb to their peer pressure. I was different, and we all knew it.
By the end of my sophomore year, I was isolated from the group. I spent the remainder of my high school weekends with a much smaller group of friends going to dinner, movies, shopping, or having bonfires or sleepovers. They were all activities that were free from drinking, and we still had tons of fun!
I used to get really sad when I would think of how many friends I had lost to drinking, but I have come to realize that those were shallow friendships anyway. I do not regret my decision to take control of my life and stay away from alcohol. I have seen it destroy several of my old friends’ lives. Some have been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, some have been arrested, some have gotten pregnant, not to mention the countless nights they have spent with their heads in the toilet vomiting or passed out on the floor. It has been really sad to see them fall down this path, and I worry about them a lot.
Now I am in college, where the pressure to drink is even greater. However, I am still underage, and to this day, I have not had a sip of alcohol. One, because it is illegal, and two, because I want to be in control. I do not want to wake up one day with a ton of regrets because I was drunk the night before. I am approaching the end of my freshman year in college, and it has been the most fun of my life: without any alcohol.
So I am here to tell you that the rumor that “everyone does it” is not true. When you find the right group of friends, you can have the best time of your life completely sober. You don’t have to drink! Choosing to stay away from alcohol isn’t always easy, but it is single handedly the best decision I have ever made. I know that I will never regret it.