Who I am today has a lot to do with the choices I made in high school; my greatest choice? Never once drinking in all four years.
I went to a high school with over 3,500 students…
… so needless to say, parties were easy to throw and even easier to get wasted at.
Kids in high school nowadays are actually at a partying disadvantage because of social media. Everything they do is documented and posted to Snapchat or Instagram in a matter of seconds- meaning it’s that much easier to get busted.
When I was in high school- a mere 7 years ago- you didn’t have to worry about getting caught in the background of someone’s post. As long as no one called the cops or died, parties would never be exposed. In other words, I could have been the biggest drunk in the school if I wanted to.
I never understood drinking…
I always heard about people sneaking liquor into water bottles at football games and getting wasted in their parent’s basement, but it never really appealed to me. Maybe that was because if I ever wanted to try something, all I had to do was ask my parents. They never made alcohol, “forbidden”, which is probably why I never thought drinking was cool or a big deal. I tried my parent’s drinks maybe three times over the course of my childhood and that was enough for me determine the taste was disgusting.
I was never anti- drinking…
Friends of mine had been drinking since we were in 6th grade. I knew that I was the weird one for not wanting to be ‘cool’ but that was okay. Even when I was younger I would notice how stupid my friends would act after about 20 minutes of chugging from the bottle and I wanted nothing to do with it. Dropping the line, “it’s not for me”, shockingly did work, although I dealt with some backlash in the beginning.
When I got to high school…
I tried to keep the same mentality, but it was much harder. For most girls all they want is to be popular – I was no different- but at 14 the furtherest things from my mind were drinking and having sex ,and I wasn’t about to change who I was just to have more people “like” me.
My friends at the time stopped inviting me to hangouts and parties because I didn’t drink. In their minds there was no point to me being there if I was going to be lame and just watch everyone else have a good time. Needless to say, those friendships didn’t last very long.
The “good girl” reputation was the best thing that ever happened to me…
By the time I reached my sophomore year, everyone knew I was the girl who didn’t drink, who didn’t hook up and who didn’t go to parties. That may sound like the beginning of hell to everyone who knows high school, but it was the opposite for me.
The first time I was called a “good girl”, the person was expecting me to be offended, but I was happy about it. Why wouldn’t I want to be a good girl? Why was it so bad?
Each week I’d hear another story of how “this person hooked up with that guy” and “that girl got so wasted she puked on her boyfriend”. Guys would talk about how slutty someone was acting or speak of some girl like she was an accomplishment instead of a person.
I had girlfriends cry to me about how they weren’t sure who they had hooked up with while they were trashed, and guy friends come to me broken hearted over the girl they were talking to because she slept with someone else. It seemed as if anything having to do with partying came with drama and I was not about to become a part of it.
Sure, people could call me a prude…
…and a loser because I didn’t like to get wasted, but I knew there were a few things they could never call me; a slut, a whore, or a drunken slob. I was sure of what I was doing and who I was with at all times.
Having my self-worth was more important to me than any party or shot of vodka.
So, I was the good girl. It was still better than the alternative in my opinion.
I didn’t sh*t talk people who drank and partied, but I made it clear just because I didn’t get crazy, didn’t mean they were any better than me. I stuck to my guns and was proud of who I decided to be. Anyone who didn’t like it, could go f*ck themselves.
By the time I graduated high school..
No one cared about whether or not I was drinking. I had friends who loved me for who I was and loved the fact that there was a ‘mom of the the group’. Guys liked me because I was the ‘good girl.’ They knew I wasn’t the school bicycle or someone who would make stupid choices because of what I chose to put in my body. That’s not to say everyone who drank in my school had a reputation of a whore, but a lot of them did and didn’t even know it.
Prom weekend came and went, so did graduation. Still- I was alcohol free. I had people thanking me for watching out for them that weekend. I was trusted and respected by people I didn’t even know. That was my kind of popularity.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I was so proud of myself for never letting ‘being popular’ sway me down a path I didn’t want to be on. I never let others influence who I wanted to be as a person.
I have my same friends I graduated high school with…
They still refer to me as the mom of the group at 25- and that’s still totally okay by me. My friends encourage me let loose once in a while, and they are the first ones to make sure I’m safe when I do.
Never drinking in high school taught me it was okay to be myself and ignore the haters. I knew eventually they would understand why I made the choices I made, and even if they didn’t I was still happy with myself.
Don’t ever let popularity or acceptance be the reason you change yourself. It may be hard at first, but people with eventually respect you for having your own mind. Every decision you make in life counts, so make them good ones.