I’m The Most Fun Designated Driver

The weekends of my first two years in college looked like this:

Amy Funnel.jpg

Amy School Girl Party .jpg

Max Brenner.jpg

Amy Walrus

Crazy

Birthday Party Fridge.jpg

Amy Dorm Room.jpg

True story.

Look familiar? In my freshman and sophomore year, I drank more beer than water and frequented the pasta bar more often than the salad bar. I ended my evening with either a few slices of pizza from Little Steve’s or a full-size bag of Sun Chips – okay let’s be real… sometimes both. And it was a blast in a glass. I lived a pretty fab life: playing basketball, going to school, living on my own, exploring Boston, making lifelong friends and killing d floors. I drank a lot. I partied a lot. I ate a lot. I wouldn’t change a thing because I had the best time and learned so much. But I was thinking about my days drinking, partying, eating crappy food and trying to figure out why. Other than the obvious fact that “it’s what you do in college” and “everyone is doing it” – why did I drink in excess? Waking up hungover and feeling like shit, sucked. Why did I buy a new outfit every weekend? I value saving money. Why did I stay up until 4am the night before an exam? School is important to me.

Because I had very low self-esteem and confidence.

Self confidence

I couldn’t talk to a cute guy without liquid courage. I didn’t think I was pretty until I had a few shots and my vision was foggy. I couldn’t be on the dance floor without a beer in hand. I didn’t have the confidence to say to my friends: I’m gonna sit this round of Jager-bombs/buttery-nipples/white Russians/Jose Cuervo… out. I doubted myself all.the.time and found comfort in partying and a “crazy” social life. I don’t even like the taste of beer – maybe it’s because we were drinking Keystones. I don’t like not having control over my body or feeling unsafe. So what gives? I honestly can’t pinpoint exactly what did it but by my 3rd/junior year, I changed. I had enough. Maybe it was because I was burnt out. I was constantly feeling bloated, tired, hungover and slow. My liver hated me. My body hated me. My friends started to hate me because I was “lame.”

Yes I hated my acne, beer belly and pizza arms but what I hated most was not feeling good enough. So I did something about it.

Just for You

I wanted to go out and have fun with my friends, but I wanted to remember my night and not feel like crap. I wanted to enjoy sweet treats, but I wanted to feel comfortable in clothes. I wanted to be spontaneous, but I wanted to study hard and get a 4.0.

We often need to give ourselves the kick in the pants – just like I did not too long ago. I discovered boxing, running, yoga, farmer’s markets (okay and 100-calorie-packs and Lean Cuisine dinners). But I found joy in walking on Sunday mornings rather than confined to my bed with a migraine. I found relaxation in chopping veggies and going to yoga. I found strength in hitting the heavy bags and going for a run. I found happiness through so many new hobbies. I found love. I found true friends. I found so much more confidence.

Amy Goodlife Half Action Shot - May 2014 copy

If we get up and do something about something, things have a way of working themselves out. But we must be the change we want to see. Maybe it’s just because I grew up and “everyone goes through that phase” but it happened and I think that I am a better person because of it.

It’s hard to believe that it has been just over a year since I graduated and that I’m not going to MIT frat parties or bar hopping in Fanueil or sneaking into Lansdowne or Daisy’s anymore. Of course I miss it, but I miss the my friends, the karaoke, the dancing and the laughs – not the drunken stupor.

My friends often think I don’t drink or ask me if I drink anymore. I definitely went through a phase where I didn’t touch alcohol (basically going from one extreme to the other) until I found my balance: I drink when I want to. Because I now have the confidence to say and do that. I went to the Jays game last Friday night and enjoyed a drink. Not ten. One. It was delicious and I had such a fun night (it would have been with or without the drink) but I wanted one so I had one… and I also discovered I’m now a prettyyyyy cheap drunk.

On Saturday morning I ate a nourishing breakfast and went to CrossFit. I’m so over hangovers. I’m so over feeling crappy. I’m so over doubting myself. I have my drink (or two) and know how to balance my vodka with my veggies.

Sangria at Jays.jpg

If you have the courage of your convinctions, you have the confidence to do what you want to do, even though other people may not agree or approve. Do what truly makes you happy and be true to you.

I’m the most fun designated driver you’ll ever meet.

Cheers to the weekend! Have a great one! 

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34 thoughts on “I’m The Most Fun Designated Driver

  1. Hah! Good times. All too similar to my own uni experience – seriously looking back through photos on facebook makes me cringe. I buckled down in 3rd year too, and did face some abuse from friends (or “friends”) for it, which I understand now. It’s nice that now I can socialise now and no one bats an eye if I’m not drinking. In fact, it makes you appreciate those times more, because I know I don’t have to rely on booze to have fun and enjoy the company. Cheers Amy!

  2. LOVE THIS. really freaky we both posted about this topic on the same day – great minds and all that ;)
    It takes a lot of confidence to stand out from our peers but being authentic is the best thing we can be :)

  3. Maybe it’s because I never really got hungover, but I kept up that partying phase much much longer than you unfortunately! I definitely had (and still have at times) low confidence and self-esteem. I never thought about the connection, I think because all I cared about was that I was having fun. I was also fortunate that I still did very well in school, which in retrospect probably just means that I was a functioning alcoholic, but I kept it up all through college and grad school. Even when my eating issues were at their worst, and I was barely eating at all, I still drank. It really only changed when we moved to Florida and even then only because John and I had no one to party with but each other. I think the biggest thing for me was that I learned the importance of balance. I have an addictive/compulsive personality so anything I did I took to an extreme. School? Maximum credits every semester and emotional breakdowns about anything below an A. Activities? Joined a sorority and made it the center of my life (I could write a book on it). Drinking? Til I blacked out, 3-6 nights per week. Work? Always worked crazy hours. Health? Cut out all potentially “bad” foods and hate myself if i slipped up. I finally realized that those extremes weren’t healthy, it didn’t make me happy, and that my relationships were suffering. It’s been hard work to fight that impulse to go overboard, but I’m much happier for it.

  4. I struggle with alcohol consumption a lot. I just cannot kick it, especially in the summer. I know how crappy I feel the next day but I can’t resist the allure of going out letting inhibitions go. Not sure why. This post certainty makes me think though. I definitely don’t think one extreme or the other is good, however. When I didn’t allow myself any drinks this only made me binge drink more on a special occasion. So just like with food, it’s about finding a balance.

  5. I don’t drink too often because I hate the feeling I have, and I just don’t crave it and want it. I went through stages in college just like you. Now? I’m fine not drinking, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hang out with those who do. I still go to bars if they do, but I choose to get a water. Sometimes they look at me like I’m funny looking, but not having that drink doesn’t stop me from dancing the night away, talking with others, and doing everything you would do with a drink in my hand. I have more to live for now, and I don’t want my days to fly by because I’m too hungover to enjoy them.

  6. Hehe! So true! I could party all night at university but now, 2 drinks and I call it quits!

    I think it’s just a major part of growing up and realising who you are and what you want. And it’s awesome when you realise what that is :-)

  7. I love this post so much. I never went through a phase like this (long story), but I still have friends that are partying their lives away a few years after graduating. It’s so sad to see that they could be doing so much more with their time! Time is valuable! Thanks for sharing. :)

  8. What a wonderful post. Ohhh do I ever understand the term “liquid courage,” especially as it relates to guys. I was never what I’d call a partier, but I definitely lacked in self confidence. Nothing a shot can’t fix, right? I used to think I was a smarter, more interesting, prettier person after one of those. I’m glad that I now know that ISN’T right. it was way easier to put myself out there before, but…now I feel like it’s more authentic and more how I really am. And I’m good with it.

  9. While I never went through the party phase, I relate to this so much. I don’t drink more than once every few months and it’s usually A drink, not several. I prefer it that way. I like being able to drive myself, get to bed at a reasonable hour, and wake up in the morning ready to go. Besides, get a little sugar in me before a night out and nobody will have any idea if I’ve had anything to drink or not ;)

  10. Oh, college! I definitely had a work hard/play hard philosophy and would drink/party/hang out on the weekends, then I’d be up at 5AM during the week to study. I have no idea how I did it because I was ALWAYS busy.

    So glad to hear you’ve found the balance you were looking for! I’m a big wine drinker and I usually have 2 glasses on most days, but it’s never enough to make me feel bad the next day. I love being able to drink my wine Friday night, then make it to an 8AM hot yoga class the next morning. Life is too short to spend it hungover and miserable!

  11. Love how far you have come, such a great post. I’ve never been a huge drinker, even in college. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of hangovers in my almost 27 years. The last few months (with some BIG life changes) I started drinking a little more than I was. I felt it after a few weeks and instantly said, NO that can’t happen. It wasn’t even a drunk all the time thing it was just 1-2 each night instead of 1-2 a week. Finding balance is huge!

  12. another reason why I love you. I literally lived the same life, except my Senior year I literally stopped drinking and going out. I would go home on weekends to get away from the party scene and to work and make money. I was homesick and so depressed over my relationship ending the end of my junior year, and I just couldn’t walk past me ex’s townhouse every day, multiple times a day. I LOVE the fact that I rarely drink these days and soak up my weekend mornings that I awake sober and healthy. Love you girl! <3

  13. i NEEDED THIS! Gosh, your freshman year sounds SO much like my freshman year. I blew through my savings, was “a drunk” and you’re right… it’s because i didn’t have the confidence or self-esteem. It’s sad to think back on, but I’m better for it. My junior year was realllly the turning point. I wanted to be healthy and put the time and effort into being better. I lost a few friends because I wasn’t a partier, but that’s okay.

    I am still kind of going through this. I have some close friends that want to drink every weekend. That’s not me. I would much rather workout with friends and MAYBE enjoy a treat that doesn’t leave me feeling hungover (but maybe a little bloated) the next day. That’s just where my priorities are. It’s hard to stand up for myself and my priorities sometimes, but I am trying to be better at it.

    Thanks for sharing. I just adore you and your blog. <3 Have a fabulous weekend!!

  14. You have turned your wonderful spirit into a healthier life, and it shows!! Glad you enjoyed your drink during the game – being a cheap drunk is way better :) I now enjoy my one glass of wine and don’t wake up gross but still can enjoy the taste!

  15. AMEN! I did the same things in college, mostly driven by a girl I thought was my best friend. Eventually things went south and I found a better group of friends who I could be silly with while sober, unfortunately it was senior year and my only regret is wasting so much time with people who didn’t value my friendship!

  16. I completely agree with what you are saying. I am about to graduate and I acted the same way and now I enjoy it but I don’t get why I felt the need to drink so much in one sitting before.

  17. Lol that looks a lot like me up to the age of…. 24/25. I still do it on occasion. I like to party. I also like to pace myself, and drink when I want to. If I’m not feeling it, I don’t do it because I’ll get peer pressured anyway. We stay in a lot of Friday nights now. I’m much better at balancing now than I ever was before!

  18. And here I thought only us fellas needed liquid courage! I can’t imagine you not being confident, look at you! =) You are wise at your young age. It took me a little longer to realize that it just wasn’t worth it to spend the majority of my Saturdays/Sundays recovering from the night before. Of course, it still happens, but now the frequency is a couple times a year rather than a couple times a month. I mean, I have to WOD at 8:30 on Saturday mornings!! This post was pretty brave of you, and I’m guessing you didn’t need any shots to write it.

  19. I love this post! You have some fab pictures from college and I have a similar collection from my uni days! Like you though, I’m very glad that I became confident enough to do my own thing, step away from what everyone else was doing “because it’s what you do” and enjoy the things I do now.

  20. Haha, so brave posting party pictures! For me, it’s not worth losing “day afters” anymore. I like getting up early and having full days. Besides when I drink now, it’s seriously takes it out of me. Although I drink in moderation here and there, those party days are long behind me :) But I don’t regret any of it either..only shake my head at myself for some of those nights!!! Good post, girly!

  21. Even though it might not look like it, I’ve never been a huge party girl. I had my share of nights in grad school, but don’t like feeling “out of control” and have never liked shots which makes me the oddball out ;) I most definitely treat myself to good food and good drinks, but like you have learned to keep it to only when I want to eat/drink. It’s all about balance, right?

  22. Girl. You are my rockstar. I never was the party girl – ever – and while maybe it could have taught me something along that journey, I also think not being a partier put me in a place to really find my passions in life. I wanted to start a blog when I was in high school, but it took a long time before I made it happen, and I’m still trying to “figure it out” when it comes to blogging. I’m happy with how my college years played out. Looking back, they definitely were “me”. Gym dates with my friends, or coffee dates + hikes, they were just our things. And I love it.

  23. This is so amazing and I can completely relate! I have had such a tough time finding that courage without the liquid help in college. When I graduated I was so miserable and realized I needed to make the change and find the confidence on my own. Love the story and really appreciate you sharing!

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