You are stronger than you think
In this post I am going to talk about my experience of peer pressure in a social environment, throughout university and school. And my tips and advice on how I have managed it, with epilepsy and anxiety. There are various topics i would like to cover in this, but most vitally alcohol.
The first time I remember feeling socially pressured was when I was at a sixteenth party. I just remember this feeling of being smothered and surrounded by so many people, a lot of drunk people. Then they offered me alcohol, I would say ’no’ then you would get the ‘why not!?, you’re being boring?’ blah blah. At the age of sixteen I took this to heart, I didn't like that I couldn't do the same as my friends, I just wanted to experience a normal teenage…life so to speak.
I think the time that it hit me that it really doesn't matter what people think or if you’re drinking was when I had my sixth form leavers ball. I did have the most amazing evening ever, it was so much fun and I wouldn’t change a single second of it. We had the ball in our school grounds, this went on until 1:00 in the morning (as soon as I saw that I was like ahhh when am i going to take my medication) but there is always a way round it! After this the party continued at a my friends house, this when on until 6:00am but I went to bed at about 4:30ish. That night I was drinking wine all evening, I was probably the most drunk I had ever been.
Waking up next morning at my friends house feeling so so ill and scared, I felt so out of it, confused. I felt like my medication was rushing around my body and brain fighting with my medication to stop me from having a seizure, it was honestly a sensation of such fear. I rested and did nothing all day so I gradually started to feel better. However even though I felt better by then end of the day I decided I didn't want to feel like that anymore. I knew that if I had of drunk and gone to bed that late I would of wouldn’t of felt that ill the next day.
After this experience of the summer ball I headed to uni being like I am not going drink. And university as we all know as this massive stigma of drinking games, getting so drunk you couldn’t even remember the night. So I didn't drink at all for my whole first year at university, didn't care what people thought. And I actually found that people didn't care. They didn't care that i wasn't drinking as I was still attending events and having a good time. I think we are brought up in an environment, where we are expected to drink, however thats really not the case. I learnt people really don't care. And if you do get someone come up to you and say why aren't you drinking? you don't have to give them the whole explanation if you don't want, its none of there business.
So my tips for being at university and dealing with the peer pressure of drinking and partying -
1. If you don't want to drink, don't its your choice. Putting your health at risk just to please people, for just someone who you hardly know is not worth it.
2. Plan if you are going to drink, know your limits with you medication.
3. If you do choose to drink make sure you have the next day to rest and recover.
4. I have learnt to just ignore people who make ‘horrible’ comments, they're not worth it.
5. I have had to miss a lot of nights out and parties due to being too ill, too tired or my anxiety as been playing up. Just please don’t be too hard on yourself. Your true friends will be understand and respect the fact that you need rest and its too much. Going out five times a week at uni was not going to happen for me. My health comes first, so my friends just had to deal with that or leave.
6. Medication - make sure you take your medication on time and think if you're out are you going to take it before or when you’re out.
7. Make sure the friends you are with on a night out are aware you’re epileptic.
8. Have fun! honestly its your choice if you want to drink or not, I personally don't as I have learnt through experience that its not worth and I still have an amazing night without alcohol.
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