Today is my 21st birthday, but the thing is I’ve never had much of a desire to drink. In fact, the first time I tasted a drink, I was surprised. I had always imagined that alcohol would taste well…good, but the first word that came to mind when I took a sip was well…not good.
When I got to college, I still didn’t see much of the draw of drinking so, I continued to avoid it. A lot of people my age found this weird. I noticed that some even got defensive when the subject came up as if my choice not to drink was a judgement on them. I quickly learned to carry a cup or bottle at parties in order to avoid the topic all together.
Me not drinking has never ever ever ever been a judgement on anyone else. It has always been a personal choice, and I can’t express how much I appreciate the people who have realized that over the past few years. It can sometimes be alienating to be the sober oddball, but nothing makes it worse than someone who takes it upon themselves to make a big deal about it.
Now that I am 21, I may start going out to bars. I might start having a drink every once in awhile. I might start drinking on a more regular basis. Or I might also choose to continue to abstain from alcohol. The thing is it’s my choice.
I get that some people like to drink. I understand that it’s a nice social activity or just plain relaxing for some people. In fact, I really enjoyed the pub atmosphere in England. And maybe one day that will be me, but it will be in my own time and at my own pace. It will be when I feel comfortable and, that’s not something that’s tied to age for me.
So, while 21 may mark my legal entrance to the drinking world, I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with my ticket. For tonight though, after a 5 a.m. wake up call I think I’ll just stick to pizza, ice cream cake, and an early bed time. I know – I am the hippest 21-year-old on the block.
What’s your favorite drink (alcoholic or non) when going out?