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Learn how to drink in college

By Ilya Sobol
On October 25, 2005

Brandeis is a haven for tolerance, but not for normalcy. The student body of this university creates a dichotomy: The non-drinkers look down on the drinkers, who in turn look right back down on their alcohol-free peers. Drinking does not have to be a black and white issue. It's not just drink or don't drink. The key term here is moderation, and it goes in both directions. Moderation should not just mean curbing your consumption, but also curbing inhibitions against drinking. That might sound paradoxical, but if Brandeis students close themselves off and simply put any activity that involves drinking out of reach, then they are perpetuating a sheltered, isolated and divided existence. It's OK to drink and it's OK not to drink, but don't limit where you go just because you like your social atmosphere boxed in nice little black and white packages.

At some point in your life, whether it's when you're 14, when you're in college or ten years from now, you're probably going to get drunk. Most likely you'll get sick, maybe even throw up-it happens, but this is how you learn. It really doesn't take too much trial and error; people learn their limits and it becomes their decision to stay within these boundaries or not.

It seems more logical to learn them now, in college, rather than puking at the Goldman and Sach's Christmas party because you got too excited about a possible promotion and thought it would be a good political move to go shot for shot with your boss. It's part of our culture to drink at social events and it is part of our education to learn how to function within that society. It's unfortunate that such an education might involve an intimate date between your face and the toilet, but it seems like a necessary lesson.

In the end, it is not the alcohol itself that matters, but the experiences that you gain, whether embarrassing or exhilarating. It is the collection of these events that helps us grow as people and as social creatures. If there's one thing Brandeis students need to learn, it is to become a little more outgoing. That way they'll be able to drink with their boss at that Christmas party, get that promotion and still keep their wits about them. But hey, if you don't want to drink, then at least come to a party. You just might have a good time.

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