It’s Saturday night in a college town and everyone knows what that means. It’s time to hit the frat houses for some pregaming and then head straight to the bars where the fun really begins. It’s past pledge season, and if you’re not in a fraternity, you don’t have that luxury to begin with. So what do you do? You could walk, or you could just call Sally. We all know Sally. She’s our friend who never drinks. At times, you wonder how she lives her life and functions without alcohol every weekend and most Tuesday nights. After asking her to drive you to the bars, you pity-invite her to come in. For about twenty minutes, you try to include her in conversation and not make her feel awkward, but then you give up. She just stands there, a judgmental look on her face, and you realize she’s made up her mind to not have fun. After about an hour, Sally leaves the bar because she’s “miserable.” Well, I used to be a sad, sober Sally — and I’m still a sober Sally, but I decided to stop being miserable and start having fun. Some people drink, some people don’t. Now that I’ve realized how to have fun while being surrounded by alcohol (and abstaining), I’ve decided to pass along some pearls of wisdom. Trust me, sober partying can be fun, too.
1. Be nice when your friends offer you a drink.
For most people, a free drink is like winning the lottery (you know, the scratch-off kind) so when your friends offer you a drink, don’t get angry or annoyed. Just smile politely and say, “Maybe just a Diet Coke instead.”
2. Dance along with everyone else.
So what if you’re bad at dancing? Chances are, more than half the people in the bar are, too. The secret is that none of them care, so neither should you. It’s a lot more fun to dance along when your favorite Backstreet Boys song comes on than to stand there miserably.
3. Make an effort to meet people.
Feel awkward? I promise the tipsy guy next to you doesn’t. If the cute boy in your econ class is sitting next to you, say hello. It’s a good way to meet people, and there’s so much going on in the bar that there are plenty of opportunities for conversation.
4. Forgive people when they spill an entire drink down your back.
Or front, or legs, or feet. It happens when people have had one too many — they really didn’t mean to do it. Seriously. It was an accident, so don’t be a bitch.
5. Laugh when your friends do something stupid.
Stop judging. It’s funny.
6. Offer to drive everyone to a fast food place afterward, because more than likely, you’ll get free food out of it.
If I had a dollar for every time I got free Cookout, Jimmy John’s, Taco Bell, or Burger King because one of my tipsy friends insisted on paying, well, I wouldn’t need the free meal in the first place.
7. You never know how much your friends love you until they’re really, emotionally drunk.
“You. are. the. best.”
“You are so pretty. Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
“Don’t tell Sarah, but you’re really my BEST best friend.”
8. Remember you’re the sober one, so when your friends are about to do something dumb, don’t be afraid to yell at them.
They may get angry at the moment, but try not to take it personally. They’ll get over it, and you probably saved them from a broken bone.
9. Be friendly. Have fun. Don’t judge.
That’s really all there is to it. So what if you don’t drink? It’s your choice, just like drinking is theirs..