For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Nov 30 2016
by Kylie Anderson

An Open Letter to the Friend Who Chooses to Drink at College

By Kylie Anderson - Nov 30 2016

Dear Friend,

I've chosen not to drink at college.

It's my decision, and it's the decision I stand by. I've seen too many lives ruined at the hands of a cold beer, one too many glasses of wine or a combination of different alcoholic beverages mixed in a deadly concoction. I get addicted to things easily. Netflix binge marathons are a mild form of addiction, and we both know that I fall into those traps easily. However, I don't want to fall down the path of no return when alcohol, something clearly not as innocent as a sitcom on a streaming service site, is the topic. 

This doesn't mean I shame you for choosing to drink. 

Just like I choose to not drink, you can choose to drink. You can go out on a Friday night after a stressful week full of less than ideal classes, hard tests, rough homework assignments that left you awake until two in the morning and little-to-no sleep. You can go out on that Friday night and you can drink. Plenty of college students end up making the choice to drink, and I don't shame you for that. I don't think less of you because you choose to drink. I don't think of you as any less of a person, a friend or a trusted person in my life. 

However, drinking responsibly is important.

I know you're responsible with your drinking. You know your limits and you count your drinks. You don't go overboard, even if it's a particularly rough week. A drink or two is enough shock to your system to become a little more than tipsy, so you stop before it gets out of hand. You never drink enough to black out. You never drink enough to forget what you've done the next morning. You never drink enough to regret your choices in the morning. You never drink enough to be so hungover that it's impossible to tackle classes the following Monday. For that, I admire you.

I admire that you're able to set your limits and boundaries and stick to them. I admire that you're able to trust yourself enough to follow those limits. I admire that you're able to see the bigger picture of your future in mind; you're able to realize that actions have consequences, and binge drinking each weekend isn't good for the biggest picture of your future in any sense. 

It doesn't matter that I don't drink. It doesn't matter that you do drink. I still love you all the same. You're still my friend, and I'm still yours. 

Thank you for taking care of yourself. Thank you for being my friend despite my choice not to drink. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Kylie Anderson - University of Wisconsin-Stout

Kylie is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Stout; she is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Communication Studies. In her free time, Kylie loves to watch Grey's Anatomy, Orange Is The New Black, or Charmed on Netflix, make YouTube videos, write creatively, volunteer, read, and hang out with friends. Follow her on twitter @BeautyWithKylie! :)

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