Sunday 19 November 2017

The Weekly Read: Teetotal college student has one piece of advice

'Being a non-drinking student is almost alien in Ireland. If I am an alien, I come in peace'

Gavin Hyland

A recent UCC report found that 66.4pc of students reported ‘hazardous alcohol consumption’, however I am not one of them.

Being a non-drinking student is almost alien in Ireland. If I am an alien, I come in peace.

I don’t judge people who drink.

I would have no friends if I did.

I simply chose not to drink; I don’t find it difficult or feel like I’m missing out. So why do people look at me with a look of pity when I tell them?

There’s a common misconception that people who don’t drink sit in their bedrooms all day playing Minecraft or heaven forbid, reading a book.

It’s also thought that when these rare species do wander into a pub or nightclub that they sit in a dark corner and pray for closing time. 

These misconceptions must be dispelled. 

Consuming alcohol is not an obligatory requirement to gain access to a nightclub.  People who choose not to drink do so for a reason and that must be respected. 

We teach young children about peer pressure at a young age, but I’ve found the pressure grew as I passed the milestone of turning eighteen.  I can’t go out without having beer and alcohol shoved in my face coupled with pleas to ‘Just have one’.

Another pressure quote I hear a lot is, "But I bought you the drink, you have to drink it."

No I don’t.  I did not ask for the drink nor am I going to drink it so you feel like you've made a worthy investment.

Next time you meet one of my kind on a night out remember we are friendly people.

And one piece of advice: Be careful what you tell us - We remember everything.

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