Monica Reynoso graduated from Humboldt State University in the spring of 2014. She wishes to become a great writer and activist for undocumented persons in the United States. Her interests include law, film, and running. What Monica hopes to accomplish one day is overall be a good person. She hopes to move her career one day to write screen plays and novels.
You’re at your first party as a college student. You have seen movies on scenarios like this, the music is playing, and everybody is having a good time, and let’s not forgets all the attractive people that you see in class finally in one place. For some reason though, you feel unsettled because of one little liquid substance that makes you question everything about yourself. Alcohol. Clearly this is a rite of passage moment where you grab the drink, chug it down and wait for everyone to crowd surf you screaming your name! But your different, your family never kept alcohol in your house and you have always seen it ruin lives of loved ones who eventually became addicted to it. So what do you do?
College is the time and place where a majority of people become social drinkers and it becomes a casual entity that is present at every extracurricular activity. Why? It just is. Does that mean you have to take part of it? Or are sworn off to the priesthood or nunnery right away if you don’t? Good news you don’t have to do any of them at least that’s what I experienced. As the only daughter of five boys I was very sheltered and was not allowed to go out until my senior year of high school. If I was to go out you better believe there was not any alcohol on an outing. My experience at a party scene was not bad but it was not good either.
I was approached at my first party, freshman year and asked the same old question by the host “do you want a drink?” I replied casually “no thank you.” It had seemed as the music abruptly came to a halt and everyone was staring at me as though I just revealed that I have the plague. At first I got a lot of laughs, that I was a good girl and that I shouldn’t had come to a party if I was not going to drink. All night, that had become the topic of conversation. Needless to say I felt very defeated when I returned home from my first college party. I even went on to think about wanting to compromise what I believed in. I promised myself the next time I went out I would have just one drink.
The next time I went out I was nervous, I was going out with the same group of people and I was set to have my first drink. When I walked in and I greeted everyone those five little words all of a sudden where asked by the host yet again. “Do you want a drink?” I suddenly go into a sweat; every reply that I had practiced alone casually just went away in a millisecond. I think of my mother, of my little cousins, what they would think of me. I then go into the future and see myself with no teeth and chugging a 40 out of a paper bag. I then just blurt out “No thanks.” The host then looks and says “Okay.” Okay? Okay?! Was it not you that made me challenge my own beliefs and scrutinized me to a point that I even thought of getting crazy wasted?!
I was confused and didn’t understand, as the party went on though I started to forget and I started having a good time. I forgot about the pressure, I swayed and fist pumped to the music. As the night ended I left feeling more proud of myself than ever, proud to the fact that I thought that moment could have been featured an Anti-drug commercial.
The point of the story is that no matter what kind of situation you’re in, in which you are pressured to do something you’re not comfortable with, don’t. At the end of the day those people who pressure you will either forget who you are, or they do not care about your own mental, physical being as a whole. I say mental because you have to go home with yourself at the night, you are the one that has to live with the decision for the rest of your life. Now I am not saying that I reframed from drinking all together ,let’s cut to my 21st birthday , that was an event that I won’t forget , but I refrained for it until I was ready and in a good place to not go over the edge. The question that’s left is, are you ready?