BY KRISTIN DEWEY, a 2005 college graduate
choose not to drink. My decision has often been criticized in public forums. I am seen as another Christian nut who doesnt want to have some fun. I dont think this is true! First of all, my decision does not come only from a spiritual base. My decision comes from my high school roommate, Suzie.1
Suzie was fabulous. She was on the gymnastics team. She was one of the best girls on the team, and after only a year of training she was already captain of the girls team. She was (and still is) a gorgeous woman. She is generous with her time and energy. This spirit made her one of the schools most popular girls. It wasnt surprising that she had three or four guys after her every year. She loved the attention.
In eleventh grade she told me she was going out drinking with her male friends. I didnt say anything, but I did watch. She lost interest in doing stuff with her close friends. She didnt want to go to practice. She wanted to be with her male friends, specifically the ones who were taking her out drinking.
Suzie is now in college. She is struggling to keep up with her classwork and maintain her usual level of social fun. The male friends that she had in high school have all left her. She now has new male friends that take her out. Recently she told me that one of the guys gave her three shots of vodka and then proceeded to try to sleep with her. She managed to fend him off, but a few weeks later she was raped after a drinking party.
According to the Core Institute, 90 percent of all campus rapes occur when alcohol has been used by either the assailant or the victim.2 I have never been raped. I have never even felt pressured to have sex. I have never suffered a failing mark because I wasnt able to concentrate on my work. My high school roommate lives in a different world than I do. Does this mean Im safe in my world? No. Bad things can still happen even if you dont drink, but my chances are better that they wont.
Suzie tells me that she just needs to loosen up after so much study. She wants to have some fun. I want to have some fun too! I like to go out with my friends and watch movies, go to bonfires, go hiking, listen to music, play hide-and-seek, sit around talking till the wee hours of the morning. . . . I dont need a form of drug to enjoy any of these things. In fact, I believe these activities are better without it. Maybe this makes me a nut, but Im OK with that.
1 Not her real name.