What I Didn’t Learn from not Drinking through Three Years of College.

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“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

Ephesians 5:18

Despite going to the #10 ranked party school in the country with Greek life DOMINATING the social scene, I never felt the desire to conform to the binge drinking culture.

When I am at a pregame or a party friends often ask me, “How come you are not drinking?” My answer to them is usually that “I have an exam next week” or “I am just chilling tonight.” The real reason is not that I have religious qualms or any type of high moral duty for the legal establishment-although I certainly can understand the people who do- it is actually the athlete voice inside of me, which has been developed since I was eight years old, telling me that my health is more important than “making memories.”

I am not saying that I am against drinking, but I am against drinking when it impedes spiritual, mental, and/or physical health. Yes I might be naïve, inexperienced or not cool, however, I am staying true to how my parents raised me.

Here are some lessons that I am proud drinking has not taught me.

1. What is a Freshman 15?

Coming into college in August I weighed somewhere between 170–175 pounds and two months later in October I weighed somewhere between 185–190 pounds, but not in the way you think. All of the weight that I put on was from working out in the gym four times a week and traveling a mile on foot to the grocery store to get my chicken and pasta. Believe me those walks were nightmares but I did them once a week.

2. What is a hangover?

Ah, the amazing feeling of waking up at 1PM on a Saturday and not being able to do anything for the rest of the day. I am glad I skipped that lesson.

3. Why do you need to drink to socialize?

How do you plan on making meaningful relationships if you can’t remember that person’s name the next day?

4. Why are you so stressed?

The beauty of being in control of your actions every moment of your life means that you have full control over time and how you use it. There is never that feeling of “Oh no my test is tomorrow what I was doing all weekend.”

5. Why is your bank account low?

The great feeling of having fat pockets because you didn’t spend $30 on a bottle for a good time.

6. What is a citation?

One of my friends was not even on campus for a weekend before he was cited for an alcohol violation. The next weekend he had to be up at 6AM because he had to walk two miles to a class to get the violation off his record.

7. What is depression?

Too many people think alcohol is going to solve their problems by making them feel good. Unfortunately I have found that peace comes from within your heart not from the bottles you are downing.

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