The other day, I woke up to a very sad email from my mom. Driving home from at movie at 6:30 pm, she passed a girl on the sidewalk who stepped into the middle of the road, back turned to traffic, with her thumb stuck out, trying to hitch a ride. My mom saw her stumbling and realizing she was drunk, turned around and called to her from the other side of the road, told her she was a mom and asked if she needed help. The girl immediately hopped into my mom's car without a second thought, reeking of alcohol and looking like she'd been at the pool all day. My mom said she was virtually incoherent but could at least direct her to her house while rambling on about how her friends took her keys to keep her from driving and she was mad at them, etc.
I couldn't help but think how incredibly lucky that girl was that is was my mom who picked her up and not a rapist or murderer. Then, right as I started to judge the girl for being so drunk and foolish, I started to think back on my wild nights in college; how that girl easily could have been one of my friends. At the tender age of 21 years and 2 weeks old I suddenly realized that, to me, the risk is no longer worth the "fun" when it comes to drinking. When you first enter college and feel that sense of freedom, you think you're invincible, that drinking until you black out is what everyone does, not a dangerous game of circumstance that you might lose one day. And then your second year, you drink to forget all the embarrassing things you did your first year. And in your third year you drink to pretend you're a first year again, and so the cycle begins and sadly, for some people never stops. Now, in my fourth year, I've found I like to remember what I did last night instead of having to piece it together through incoherent text messages and pictures on Facebook. Not to mention I have way too much going on to spend the day hung over.
Now I'm not saying I don't still enjoy a good night of slightly loosened inhibitions, but there's a line that I don't plan on crossing anymore and I think it's good to start pulling in the reigns now, before it's too late. Alcohol may be an acceptable way to deal with getting my first C in a college course, but in the real world, there are a lot more healthy options to handling disappointment, embarrassment and tough times.
Lesson Learned: If you know someone who tries to drown their sorrows, you might tell them sorrows know how to swim. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.