Peer Pressure & AlcoholJan 20, 2022
Written by Sydney Parker, a senior at CSUCI
I am currently a fourth-year college student, about to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree. I have noticed that throughout my college years, I have become less inclined to drink alcohol. In high school, I drank a lot more than I do now. I was that girl that would peer pressure my friends into drinking with me, which I regret deeply. A factor as to why I drank so much in high school was to numb the pain I felt due to the personal issues I endured throughout those four years. Another factor was simply because I had FOMO (fear of missing out) whenever I saw my peers drinking and I was not there. Now that I am 21 years old, I find that people think I am “weird” because I do not have a desire to drink anymore (considering 21 is the legal drinking age).
What people do not know is that I am currently taking a prescribed medication – one of which you cannot drink while taking (though you should not drink on any medication, it is especially dangerous to drink when taking this medication). I am on this medication for a year, ending in June of 2022. I have been noticing that my friends do not ask me to hang out as much simply because I am the only one that does not enjoy getting blackout drunk.
Just this past Friday, I was visiting my friend who lives in a big city with a busy nightlife, such as clubs and bars. My friend had some of her friends over as well, and when I told them I was not going to drink because of the medication I am currently taking, they tried pressuring me to drink because they, themselves, have drank on prescribed medications before and they were “fine.” After denying, again, I started to feel like they thought I was boring or weird, though this could have been me overthinking.
This kind of peer pressure to drink has persisted a lot the past few years of my life, as I previously mentioned that I have been drinking less and less throughout college. As someone that has been peer pressured, AND has been the person peer pressuring, I can say that alcohol is simply glamourized in American society. It has almost gotten to a point where people want to go out and drink simply to post on their social media accounts to show others that they are constantly happy and live this extraordinary life. What we tend to forget is that social media is curated to make our lives look seemingly perfect, when in reality we are all going through struggles.
Alcohol is not all that it is made up to be. You should be able to have fun without drinking alcohol. I had a friend in the past that would only want to drink alcohol every time we hung out, so I eventually distanced myself from them. If you find that you have a friend, or maybe all your friends are that way, I advise that you distance yourself from them.
I began to ask myself, “What do I gain from drinking alcohol?” I could not come up with anything other than a good time with my friends, and possibly lessening my anxiety. I have come to the realization that alcohol has way more negative consequences than benefits. Nothing good ever comes out of drinking alcohol besides some possible good memories with your friends. If you find yourself getting peer pressured to indulge in alcohol, I suggest you try to find a new, healthier group of friends. Surround yourself with people that are on the same wavelength as you are.