Why I waited to be 21 to drink alchohol

Marjorie Kirk, News Editor

Marjorie Kirk, News Editor

Marjorie Kirk

Until just four days ago, I would refuse drink offers from my friends with no qualms. On the other hand, they would respond, “Why not? Are you alright in the head? Come on, just one.”

I would say, “No I’m fine, I’m just not 21.”

My friends may have been bewildered by my refusal, but I find it to be even more bizarre that a majority of people cannot wait until they’re allowed to do something to do it.

In my mind, it would be more reasonable to be concerned for the restless who don’t have the patience to wait for the appropriate time to drink.

But not everyone who drinks before 21 is a compulsive drinker, and not everyone who waits to drink does so because they are terrified of alcohol or the law.

I wasn’t totally alcohol-free before I was 21. I’ve been to a few places in Europe where I could drink, and I’ve tried a few things at my parents’ house.

From this, I think I developed a respect for alcohol, and I developed the conviction that it has an appropriate time and place.

Now, I think I have a healthy relationship with alcohol, which isn’t always the case for college students. I turned 21 on Thursday and didn’t try to drink 21 shots; I went out with a couple of friends to OBC Kitchen, a great restaurant on Tates Creek Road with an extensive bourbon collection and peanut-butter-dipped, thick-cut bacon.

Unsurprisingly, the alcohol wasn’t the best part of the night. Contrary to popular opinion, not every night out is better with alcohol.

Rest assured, I have no vendetta against alcohol. I don’t think it’s bad or turns people violent or rude. Moreover, it’s not an excuse for inappropriate behavior like insensitive comments, adultery, sexual assault and countless other things people seem to be off the hook for because they were inebriated.

If you’re belligerent, racist, abusive or a rapist when you’ve had any amount of alcohol, it’s not because of the alcohol.

I’m glad my friends enjoy spending time with each other, climbing into attics, playing Mario Kart and knocking over Jenga towers, and it’s not my place to see their consumption as anything else but their way of enjoying a night out. My enjoyment is just a little bit cheaper, and my mornings after are a bit less painful.

Marjorie Kirk is the news editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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