Raise your glass to growing up

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Raise your glass to growing up

Copy Editor Brody Hall discusses his personal experience with alcohol and how it has played a part in shaping his early adulthood.

Copy Editor Brody Hall discusses his personal experience with alcohol and how it has played a part in shaping his early adulthood.

PEXELS

Copy Editor Brody Hall discusses his personal experience with alcohol and how it has played a part in shaping his early adulthood.

PEXELS

PEXELS

Copy Editor Brody Hall discusses his personal experience with alcohol and how it has played a part in shaping his early adulthood.

BRODY HALL, Copy Editor

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You failed a test? Take a shot. You aced a test? Take a shot. Your boyfriend dumped you? Take a shot. He told you he loved you? Take a shot. You got the job? Take a shot. They told you they decided to pick a different candidate? Take a shot. You’re mad? Take a shot. Sad? Take a shot. Happy? Take a shot.

When I was a freshman in high school, drinking seemed like this foreign, dark and taboo activity that only a select group of people would ever associate themselves with doing—like it was the Skull and Bones for teenagers. During the special occasion that I would drink for while in high school, I always felt as though I was never doing it for myself, and that I was drinking to impress the ones around me. Maybe not even impress; I think I might have just wanted company. And if I had to take part in this certain activity to have that, then I was going to do so.

After I got to college, I quickly realized that drinking was the pinnacle and upmost important social activity. It was how you met new people, discussed school endeavors and got more in touch with your most inner self.

Drinking was the highlight of Fridays and Saturdays. For some people, drinking is the highlight of almost all their weekends and most of their weekdays, too. Nothing would beat getting ready at 8 p.m. to head over to your friend’s dorm room and pregame with Diet Sprite and UV Cake until 11 p.m., when it was then an acceptable time to stop at a party or a bar.

Now, I think being in bed before 10 p.m. is always an accomplishment.

Recently, I was having a wine night with one of my friends, where we were discussing what drinking meant to us.

It’s how we grew up, we decided. It’s what settled the brickwork between adolescence and adulthood. By finding our balances and exposing our deepest and truest thoughts to those around us while intoxicated, we learned what it meant to be an adult.By taking part in drinking, we were not only proving to each other, but also to ourselves, that we were now mature.

In reality, we learned what it was like to make mistakes.

Didn’t you ever wake up in your dorm room bed, unbeknownst to you how you got there, thinking, “I don’t even remember coming home.”

Didn’t you ever look at your texts from the night before and question why you would ever send that message to someone?

I know I have had these experiences—and I attribute them all to my growing process. Now, at 22, I still have minor instances of, “Oh my god, why?” but they are not near the severity of what it was like when I was 18 or 19. I have learned that with great drinking comes even greater responsibility. Lessons to learn and life to be lived.

I do not regret the times of being in an altered state of mind. No, I’m glad they happened. To be honest, I learned a lot about myself while being drunk. I learned what I was holding on to and what I needed to let go of. I learned that I did not have to be afraid of what I was thinking, that I could be just as confident sober as not sober. I learned that I could break away from my old thoughts and patterns and get peace of mind all by myself, no instruction manual needed. I learned that I could seek out help if I really needed it.

Drinking is a sanctuary to many. It’s not how we have fun, it is the fun we have. But it doesn’t need to be. I think being an adult is realizing that you must take responsibility for your part in any situation or relationship, without having some sort of substance guide you there. You do not need alcohol like it needs you.

At the same time, drinking is how we learn to accept people for who they are. In any state, the ones we love are the ones we love, plain and simple. When you see your best friend, completely wasted and spewing out utter nonsense and you realize in your moment that you love them regardless, you know that you’re happy for them just being there.

At this point in my life, I do not have a drinking problem and have no plans of becoming a teetotaler any time in the near future. I know people that have given up alcohol and it has saved their lives. I know people that are miserable because they don’t or can’t drink. I think it’s perspective. Is the shot glass empty or full? And if it’s full, do you really need it anyway?

Well, that’s for you or your bartender to decide.

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