A week ago I was sitting with friends pre-ing for the bar (for reference, and as I explained to my dad, a pre is the hour before you go to the bar, during which time you drink store bought alcohol so you can avoid spending excess money at said bar). Everyone was drinking and having a good time when one of the girls asked me “Jordyn do you want to take shots of tequila?” I smiled and responded “No thanks, I don’t drink!” As these three words exited my mouth, I saw the mood of the room shift. Everyone was so curious about my decision to stop drinking. “Is it a health thing?”, “is it a spiritual thing?”, “is it a moral thing?” I so desperately wanted to answer yes to all of their admirable guesses. I wanted to be seen as the cool, alternative, healthy girl who drinks kombucha and only eats non-GMO, organic kale. But no, the real reason I stopped drinking was because every time I drink- are you ready for me to reveal too much of myself on the internet- I throw up my entire stomach contents at 6 am the next morning. It eventually became a routine; go out and have fun, come home, fall asleep in jeans (because I’m an adult and I do what I want), wake-up at 6 am, throw up, fall back asleep. I’ve gone through this routine so many times, including one time in front of my mom as she looked on giving me disappointed head shakes, that I have decided to make the very responsible decision to stop drinking. The only drink I do continue to consume is Gin and Tonic, a drink that requires $50 gin that is definitely not a part of the “University expenses mom and dad cover”, so, I have essentially stopped drinking.
As a nineteen-year-old in the age of binge drinking and excessive partying, going to a party sober may seem like a daunting task. I have written out my 3 ways to ensure you have the best time at the party, even if you’re 100% sober. So, if you’re the DD for the night, have a big exam the next morning, or just don’t want to be heaving over the toilet before the sun rises, this list is for you.
Understanding that drunk is a mindset
Admittedly, I am a journalism major and not a science major. As such, I may not be entirely qualified to definitively state that being drunk is purely a mindset. However, from my limited chemistry knowledge, I do know that ethanol is a water-soluble molecule that enters the bloodstream and is also able to penetrate (sorry, still not a good enough excuse to use penetrate in a sentence) through cell membranes. So yes, alcohol does have a biological effect on the brain and makes you drunk. But, I have come to the realization that the fun, partying effect of drinking, although scientifically linked to molecules, is a mindset. Think about the last party you attended. If the speakers had been blasting Mozart instead of Justin Bieber, or if the room was filled with your mom’s book club friends instead of your sorority sisters or best friends, I can virtually guarantee that no number of Jägerbomb or tequila shots would have made that party fun. What this means is that drunk doesn’t equate to fun- rather when someone has consumed alcohol, their natural feelings of embarrassment and their ability to make sound judgments have been diminished, rendering them care-free and “fun”. So, if you think about it, if everyone around you is plastered, having a good time, releasing their inhibitions, you just have to join in and release your inhibitions without the help of ethanol soaked cells (that sounds so much grosser than I anticipated). To summarize, if everyone is in the drunk mindset, you just have to join them. Plus, you can revel in the knowledge that you’re having just as much fun as them but you will not be hungover the next morning.
Drinking games are more fun sober
If you have been to any college party you know that games such as beer pong and slap cup are staples. They are a way to loosen up the mood of the party and meet new friends. So what do you do if you don’t drink but want to participate in these games? You may feel stupid playing and having to explain to everyone that you can’t drink the cup of beer that so clearly has the pong ball in it. My go to in this situation- locate the nearest frat-boy type (maybe he’s your partner, maybe he’s standing next to the speaker trying to put on his “Eminem’s Greatest Hits” playlist) and tell him that he has to drink it. This is a foolproof way to avoid having to drink, to make friends, and to save all the party-goer’s ears from the sound of 20 boys “rapping” Eminem. Plus, you will find that you will win every game because you have the unfair advantage of sober hand-eye coordination (though if you’re me that isn’t that helpful).
Drink something else
Now that you’ve overcome the fear of partying sober, and have discovered the way to even meet new friends sober, I have one final tip. Fill a red solo cup with literally anything else. In pictures, you’ll blend in with all your friends (minus the blurry, drunk eyes), and having something to hold in your hand will deter other people from offering you drinks. If someone sees you sipping from a cup they are less inclined to offer you a shot of tequila, and therefore you will not have to explain to them about your embarrassing habit of throwing up. Because, trust me, that does not make for good party conversation.
Happy sober partying,