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