Goodbye Corona and lime
"The choice to give up drinking is a choice that I made for myself"
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“So, I’ve noticed that over the past year your order has changed from a Corona and lime to a seltzer and lime. What is it like being a college student who quit drinking?”
Friends who just can’t grasp why I’ve chosen to remove alcohol from my life frequently pose this question. The cycle is always the same. They offer me a drink and I politely decline, offering them some half-true answer about how I quit to lose weight or how I just want to live a healthier lifestyle. They tilt their heads, sip their beers and claim to understand — but how could they? They don’t know what it was really like before.
What was it like before?
You know how they say that if you aren’t careful, your life will just pass you by and before you know it you will wake up one day and wonder where your life went? I woke up at 20 years old and I didn’t have to wonder, I knew exactly where my life went: it went to the bottle.
I had this delusional perception that I was doing life wrong if I wasn’t drinking on the weekends. I measured “fun” by the number of beers I consumed or the number of shots I took a night. I surrounded myself with people that egged on my habit. They chanted “chug, chug, chug” and I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t possibly turn down the opportunity to make a memory.
But, the problem with that logic was that I woke up with a pounding headache and very little recollection of what I had done the night before. Until one day I woke up and I asked myself, “what was this all for?” Did I ever really like drinking, or did I just do it because I was in college and you are supposed to drink in college?
The answer was no. I didn’t like drinking. I didn’t like who I was anymore. So, I closed the bottle that day and I never looked back. I left the memories of who I was in the past and I became who I am today.
What is it like now?
Things are different. I won’t lie, sometimes, when everyone around me seems to be enjoying the happiness that alcohol brings him or her, I find myself missing it. But this nostalgia is not long lived.
The choice to give up drinking is a choice that I made for myself. I wanted to remember every second of my life because life is too short to let it pass by in one big blur. I wanted to be better, so I became better.
There is this big secret that nobody seems to ever want to tell you, but I’ll let you in on it: college, and life for that matter, are just as rewarding without alcohol.
I still go to the bars, but the difference is that when I look next to me there is not a beer, but rather there is a man who I love, ordering me a seltzer with lime. I couldn’t be happier. I found my happy and it has nothing to do with alcohol.
So, what is it like being a college student who quit drinking? It’s alright by me.
Email Ericka [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @etay_rofino.