On Halloween weekend, I went to a party. It was really loud inside, so I walked out onto the deck of the house and met Bryan (a stranger at the time who now is a friend). He looked at my water bottle and asked “Straight vodka? You’re hardcore!” I told him it was just water because I don’t drink. We talked for a while that night about how he wished that he had the strength not to drink. He was the first person to tell me that he respects the fact that I don’t drink, but he wasn’t the last! When I opened up to people about my choice to be alcohol free, the reactions by teammates, friends, coaches – even random people I met at parties – surprised me. They told me they respected me for not drinking.
Through all of my experiences during my freshman year of college, I learned that instead of being ashamed that I don’t drink, I should be proud of my decision. I am sure there are more people at my college who don’t drink. They may be carrying around a bottle of water or drinking Vitamin Water Zero Lemonade that I assumed was alcohol. As I head into my sophomore year, I will look beyond the label.
Randolph-Macon College, Class of 2021
Deerfield High School, Class of 2017