It’s no secret that alcohol consumption is a big part of student life at varsity, and if you are of legal age to drink, then it shouldn’t be a problem- right? Well, here’s the deal about drinking at varsity, and what you should keep in mind.
Peer pressure doesn’t just happen in high school. The culture surrounding partying and drinking in varsity can be very convincing, and if you don’t drink, you may feel left out. Remember that this is a time when you and everyone around you is still growing. You may legally be an adult and allowed to drink, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got control over alcohol and its effects on your body and mind. Trust your gut and if you feel like having another round is a bad idea, politely decline. Stand your ground and don’t allow others to pressure you into drinking- you’ll gain far more respect that way.
Starting to drink early on in life not only affects your body negatively, it also makes it easier for you to develop a habit of drinking. Varsity is your time to grow into the person you want to become, and becoming dependant on alcohol or other substances probably isn’t part of your plan. It’s hard to see the consequences of drinking when you and everyone around you is young and seemingly healthy, but remember that alcohol has terrible effects on your body, and if you get into the habit of drinking too much now, it can lead to serious health issues further down the line.
Escaping the stress
If you don’t have healthy ways of dealing with stress, then the stressful varsity environment can quickly lead to you looking for a “quick fix”. Remember that while alcohol can give you an immediate sense of relief, it’s short-lived and once it wears off, it can lead to more problems than you had in the beginning. It’s better to work through your issues with a clear, sober mind, rather than reaching for alcohol to numb the pain. If you need inspiration on how to heal from hurt without using alcohol, read this.
The independence of varsity life takes some getting used to, and while partying and trying new things is a natural part of the journey, remember that alcohol is a powerful substance that millions of people struggle to quit. You deserve a happy, healthy future so do yourself a favour and learn to control your alcohol intake now or better yet, avoid it altogether.
If you or a friend has a problem with alcohol, there are places to find help. You can contact a SANCA centre closest to you, or contact Recovery Direct’s 24 hour helpline on 079 235 7415. You can also contact SADAG online, on their 24-hour helpline, 0800 12 13 14 or SMS them on 31393 and they’ll call you back.