By Kylie Hargrave
Elm Staff Writer
College is a place to learn, study, and achieve one’s goals. However, college is also a place to make friends, bond, and have fun. On many college campuses part of the latter consists of going out on weekends and drinking alcohol. This can be fun at times and part of the college experience, but a problem can emerge if one finds themselves in a situation where they’d rather stay in for the night and abstain from alcohol but are pressured to go out.
The pressure doesn’t have to be malicious, it could just be friends wanting you to have a good time, but maybe you just decide that you would rather have a night off. If your usual friend group expects you to go out as normal the situation can get tricky and cause tension, but it’s worth trying to figure out.
First and foremost, if your friend group is angry with you for not going out and continue to pressure you even after you’ve made up your mind, then perhaps you need to have a serious talk with them. It really is easier said than done. Don’t let your own silence and embarrassment get you into a situation you don’t want to be in. Your friends should care for and support you in your choices, especially ones that can be good for your health and safety. If they don’t those friends are no good.
Another tough situation would be if you don’t mind going out, but you’d rather not drink. There’s never any harm in that and a sober friend can only be a good thing for a group of drunken people. Just don’t let anyone pressure you into those “only one shot” that turns into multiple and a thumping hangover the next day. You have a right to say no and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Going out and being sober can be just as fun as if you were going to drink.
Overall, just know that you can say no. It’s easy to feel lame or boring for choosing a night in, but if that’s what you want and need then you deserve it so you should never feel ashamed. We all have to take care of our own physical and mental health before anything else, and if that means going to sleep at 8:30 p.m. one Saturday night then go for it. Besides, a night in can be just as fun as a night out. It could be as simple as rounding up a few other sober friends for a movie night or even having one with just yourself and Netflix. A night in alone can be fun in its own way too. It’s a good time to distress, take a night walk, catch up on sleep, and finally start that book you’ve been meaning to read for years.