Cockeyed Campus

It’s pathetic that some Andover students’ social nightlives depend on the contents of a vodka bottle. Fridays provide a quick transition from a mind stimulated by teachers to a mind stimulated by Johnnie Walker and Jim Beam. This sudden change is too quick for me, as an abstinent student. How can mingling with my pals during the day be so comfortable, but then at night turn into something I want to avoid? It’s a vicious cycle that is repeated every single week. Unfortunately, I have gotten too used to it; now I have become pessimistic and ignore The Weekender because I can assume that whatever Mrs. Efinger has planned, my friends will still have alcohol-glazed eyes that I’d have to look into. It immediately sucks the fun out of my nights, because it is an upsetting truth that I can talk to my friends who partake in drinking only when the sun is out. If you make the decision not to drink with your friends, or not given the choice to, it automatically isolates you from them. At this moment of separation, exclusion from your inebriated peers annoys you because you can’t find celebration in the night if don’t have “beer-goggles” on to make you nonchalant about your surroundings. Your sober body unluckily gives you the clairvoyance to see the repulsive drunken ways of your friends. So why do we do this to each other? We live close to each other on this campus and can’t afford to hurt people’s feelings when we separate into our evening “activities.” Neither can we perform crude actions one night and simply blame it on “oh, I had too much to drink last night” to a hurt friend that next morning. Being offended or abandoned by a drunk friend is demoralizing. But it’s hard to point a finger and lay blame. It is hard to be an abstinent student if your friends drink. This is a pathetic culture that should not exist, because it always hurts an abstinent friend. When you drink on campus, you will ruin people’s nights by disgusting them with your inebriation. Why would you want to be responsible for that? Some people here shed abstinent friends because they don’t agree with their idea of how to spend a Saturday night. What kind of friendship is that? This prestigious campus has its share of intoxicated teenagers. On weekends, I’m not supposed to be disheartened, nor should I have to watch dismal forces engulf my friends into a sea of drugs and alcohol. I should be able to enjoy my weekend nights in a fun and completely legal way. But I can’t, because I’m the straight one. It always seems to devastate the abstinent student when he runs into the drunk ones. Isn’t that the way of the world? We should recognize that drinking doesn’t only make you sick or get you DC’d; it’s also that kids who drink are never aware that they are hurting some people around them when they do it. As they have their eyes fixated on their bottle of alcohol, they never notice the friend they have left behind because he doesn’t drink, or the dorm mates that are trying to go to sleep. When students pay no heed to the emotions of abstinent friends as they drink, they create this corrupt and uncomfortable bubble that we are all trapped in together. If students do notice what effect they are having on their abstinent peers, I think some people would rethink their drinking on campus. They should. The other choice is to lose their friends.