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Oct 19 2015
by Jaclyn Imai

Why I Don't Drink (Yet)

By Jaclyn Imai - Oct 19 2015
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Unpolitical: Why I Don’t Drink (Yet)

In being freshman in college, there is a new stereotype that we have to adopt. We now belong to the grouping and traits that come to the “college student” – someone who parties, drinks, gets high, and subsequently doesn’t remember anything the morning after. Whether this stereotype can be used as a generalization or not, I know for a fact that it doesn’t apply to me—At least not yet.

One of the most common arguments I hear (or at least that most parents would like to hear) is that I "don’t drink because it’s against the law". The same for smoking weed or taking other drugs that aren’t caffeine in a soda or my 12 a.m. Starbucks, or my expensive iced-tea from that hipster coffee counter on campus. 

But all things aside, I could care less about the law. The legal drinking age varies worldwide, and weed legality has been a recent debate topic between states. Again, I couldn’t care less. Often on many college campuses, many of the officials couldn’t care less either, as long as you’re not passed out in a street somewhere (which going to school in Los Angeles would be deadly). Law aside, I have much more personal reasons for not drinking.

This is my first article for Fresh U, and I will be very honest about my character; I have terrible self-control and can be very impulsive. I joined theater on a hunch, applied for this writing position on a whim and entered a long-distance relationship a week before I left for college. Elaborating on this idea, take my exercising schedule for example. I try and go to the gym or have some form of exercise every other day. However, if I miss one day in that schedule, whether it be because I actually have work to do or I’m just feeling lazy, it takes twice as much effort to get up and start exercising again. And oftentimes that doesn’t happen, until I feel guilty about eating pizza twice in one day and then getting an ice cream sandwich after. I figured the same would be with alcohol. That once I start, I wouldn’t be able to stop. And yes, I’ve had alcohol before. I know I like beer that’s on the sweeter side, or that any beer tastes good with something fried. My holidays are marked by fancy cheese, red wine and other pretentious sounding things. But it’s the college environment of being around others that are drinking that I don’t know or don’t trust as much as my family that I think would be my biggest obstacle.

Besides my inherent lack of self-control, I also have no idea what kind of “drunk” that I am. There’s the “emotional drunk” or the “sleepy drunk” and probably a dozen others that I don’t know about. I’ve had sips of alcohol, but nothing to the extent that a little conscious acting on my part can’t hide. But I’ve never been drunk. It’s the idea of doing something that I’ll regret that scares me the most. Who would I be? Realistically, I imagine myself as being someone so brutally honest when drunk that I would alienate any potential friends, and then probably fall asleep. And falling asleep is either really funny, or very dangerous.

Ending that darker tone, my genetics also have it out for me when it comes to drinking. I am an imposing five feet and one-in-a-half inches, so my BAC will skyrocket a lot faster than the average person. Besides my lack of stature, my genetics have blessed me with a big indicator that I have been drinking – my face. Yes, my face goes bright red even after a few sips of wine. Forget Rudolph. If I could fly, Santa should have just asked me to guide his sleigh that foggy Christmas Night. But in all seriousness, in that party situation, my face will be a clear indicator that I am definitely not sober.

So when will my personal sobriety end? Probably by the end of this school year. I definitely want to experience a party just to see what it’s like. It will be a new experience, just like everything else at college. I love dancing…if that happens at parties. But until the day that I deem I can handle a few sips of alcohol and not completely go crazy and drink more, do something that I’ll regret or get lost on the way, back from this hypothetical party, I’ll stay sober. I’ll be content with laughing at the drunk stories I hear from others, and for now, be proud of my choice to not drink. And that’s what counts.

Lead Image Credit: Steven Depolo

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Jaclyn Imai - University of Southern California

Jaclyn Imai is a freshman Theatre Acting major from the University of Southern California with intended minors in communication and cinematic arts. She has has written comedic and dramatic pieces for theater in high school. She loves food, trying new things and traveling anywhere, even if that "anywhere" is just walking ten minutes to get more food. She hopes people enjoy her sassy writing, and that her serious writing makes people think.

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