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Opinion: Sober people can have fun too

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By Kevin Mercado​

Staff Writer

[email protected]

Nov 18, 2014

   There’s a lot to do in college. People can join clubs, stay in and read a book, get some food at the dining halls with their friends, and most often party on the weekends.

   Let’s face it, every college student, at one point in their college lives, has gone partying on a Friday or Saturday. Partying almost always includes hanging out with friends, dancing, staying up late, and drinking.

   Most students will tell you that a party is not a party unless there is alcohol around. Some people just want to wind down and knock back a few beers or have shots to get loose and have an even better time.

   Drinking is not necessarily a problem, though some people could argue that, but there is always a person who opts not to drink at a party. Generally this is because they are the designated driver and therefore cannot drink. Ultimately that person looks longingly at all the other partygoers who are drinking and wishes he/she could have as much fun as them.

   There is also occasionally the person that just does not drink at all, for whatever reason. Everyone else assumes that because they do not drink they are somehow automatically boring and do not know how to have fun. Every one else insists that the sober person just has not tried it and if they tried it they will like it.

   As a person who never had a drink before, by choice, I am constantly asked,

   “Then, what do you do at a party?” It is as if alcohol is the only factor that really makes a party. I tell them, “I dance, I laugh, and I have fun. Everything you do, but without  liquor.” Then I just give them a look.

   It seems as though alcohol is a crutch that defines a student in college. I must be some alien because I choose not to drink.

   What really affects me is when people assume that people who do not drink just do not know how to have fun. The designated driver should not have to look at all of the other people and look sad about. I say a time is only what you make of it and if somebody is going to show up to a party and right from the start assume that they are going to have a horrible time, then they will have a horrible time.

   Alcohol is the not the definition of a party. Sometimes people need alcohol to somehow loosen up to have a good time. This puts such a necessity and dependence on alcohol. I do not think that alcohol releases tension in that sense. It is up to the person at a party to have a good time for themselves. Being the person who does not drink should not limit what a person feels like they can do in social situations. As long as the sober one is just as involved in the party as anyone else who is drinking, then there should not be much of an issue.

   I despise the preconceived notion that just because someone does not drink, it automatically means that you cannot take them to a party or a bar or wherever. All that it really means is that the two people will be drinking different drinks. I have also been told that someone will not feel as comfortable drinking around someone who does not drink. The sober person should not be alienated from the rest of the party. I find that in any party setting to keep up the same amount of energy as the people drinking around me and they never tell the difference. As much as I love the head-snapping and whiplash that people get when I tell them I do not drink, I want to end the negative stigma that people who choose sober-living are all not fun to be around. Alcohol does not scare me or make me feel uncomfortable when I am around it. I just choose not to drink it.

   If I can feel comfortable around drunken people, then drunken people should feel comfortable around sober people.

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