Opinion

Turning Down a Drink: It’s My Choice

By Kate Finman
CONTRIBUTOR

The NCAA has given a grant to Beloit to promote drug and alcohol education. While I applaud its provision, I must say I’m disappointed with the methods I’ve seen employed thus far.

When I first saw the “12 Excuses to Turn Down a Drink” poster, I immediately grabbed it to show my friends. It was so absurd. It gave ideas like “I’m pregnant” and “I’m training for the Olympics.” It also said that if you simply don’t enjoy drinking you should probably use an excuse anyway. Why is “no thank you” not enough? Do we really have to encourage dishonesty? It makes it seems like it’s not acceptable to not want to drink.

I have been at Beloit for two and a half years now, and I have never been in a situation where “no thanks” or “I don’t drink” were insufficient—and most of my friends do drink. It’s not like I’m never in social drinking situations. Every single one has accepted the fact that I don’t drink. Some of them have asked why out of a genuine curiosity and desire to know me as a person and friend, but never to criticize or apply pressure.

Instead of encouraging students to lie about themselves, I feel it would be more beneficial to talk with real students and have them share their reasons for not drinking. For me, I really do find my guides for life in the Bible. One of the apostles wrote “all things are permissible for me, but not all things are beneficial.”

To me, drinking isn’t beneficial, so it’s not something I engage in. Other students may have friends or family who have been hurt by alcohol in the past. Everyone has his or her own reasons, because we all come from different places. By fostering a culture that requires an excuse, we give privilege to one lifestyle and patronize another.  Let’s give each other the space to be who we are.

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