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lifestyle

Diary of a Sober Student

Ask someone why they don’t eat or drink anything that they don’t, and the answer “I don’t like it” is a valid one. But, for some reason, “I don’t really like it” or, “I don’t want to” is suddenly COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE and MUST be a lie when it comes to drink.

I’m not a big drinker at all. For a 22 year old, that isn’t really the norm. Especially a student. In final year. It’s not because of religious or medical reasons, it’s because:

  1. I can’t hack it.
  2. I can’t hack hangovers.
  3. I’m just as much of a GEG sober.
  4. I saw something horrible happen to one of my bestmates when she was too drunk to function.
  5. Because I  d o n ‘ t  w a n t  t o , o k a y ?  

But, I shouldn’t need a reason (let alone 5), should I?

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I wasn’t always like this. I used to drink a lot, like. In first year of uni, we went out a hell of a lot, and I think it just ruined it for myself. Going out like 3/4 nights a week, feeling like complete crap 3/4 days a week and not actually remembering what the hell even happened 3/4  nights a week just got a bit, well, meh.

Now, I hardly drink so I hardly drink. Because I don’t drink that often, when I do, I it hits me really hard (2-pints Murray makes her appearance) and I wake up feeling HORRIBLE no matter what I do. Eat dinner before you go out, drink about 10 litres of water, eat when you get home, take paracetamol and STILL feel like crap in the morning. And, you know what? It’s not worth it. It’s genuinely not. So, because I’m not RUSHING to make this a weekly feeling, I hardly drink. It’s a weird sobriety cycle.

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That’s Ms Sober Party Queen to you.

Some people think that not drinking makes you somehow “boring”. Because liver disease, regret, blackouts, hangovers and accidentally “WHOOPS I spent £80” is super exciting, of course. But, surely, you’re life is more boring if you need to be absolutely steamin to make it fun? I’m a geg and my life’s a geg, with or without Magners.

I do drink every now and then, but only when I want to and only when I feel like it. Not for the sake of it, like. I’ll go to nightclubs sober and I’ll dance sober and I’ll have an amazing time. Sober. Downside is, I have to be the ma of the group and look after the people who never seem to learn they CAN’T hack it, but at least it means that at least someone’s looking after them. Someone who isn’t creepy, drunk and predatory, that is.

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Me.

I get to go to out, dance, sing, actually remember all the words and NAIL that rap song, don’t have to worry about queuing for about an hour for a drink, having my drink spiked (been there, done that, not a fan I must say), spilling my drink or having it knocked out of my hand by that ONE PERSON WHO INSISTS ON WEARING A BACKPACK TO A CLUB. I don’t have to worry about creepy guys trying to take advantage of me (which is a really sad reality for girls) or waking up feeling like pure death.

So, why are you trying to convert me? What is wrong with any of the above? (Apart from the backpack bloon). Why wouldn’t I be happy? (Apart from the backpack bloon).

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Basically: stop peer pressuring people to wreck their livers if they don’t want to. Stop asking “why not?” when people say they’re not drinking. What if they’re pregnant or ill? It’s none of your business.  Stop judging people, buying them drinks, making them uncomfortable, calling them ‘boring’, or asking them if they’re drinking even when you know that they aren’t.

Rant over. Cheers.

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Categories
Advertising lifestyle social media

Do it for the ‘Gram

Nowadays, people seem take photos of almost everything they do, buy or eat. It’s all about the “aesthetic”. Not just any angle, gotta be birdseye and of course you’ve to draw a wee heart with the pen tool. Very cute.

We’re all guilty of doing it – well most of us millennials anyway. Out for coffee? Snap that cappuccino art. Out for food? We want to see your poached eggs and avocado. Nails done? Ooh girl, show me. Don’t dare start sipping or eating before you’ve got the perfect photo (if you’re feeling nice you might even include your friend in the background). There’s no disappointment like getting blobby latte art, like how are you meant to insta that?? Pffft.

So why do we do it? Is it because we’ve got smartphones now so it’s easier to do? I don’t remember people whipping out disposable cameras in Barnam’s when I was younger, and I didn’t find photos of brunches when I went through my family photos. I didn’t find many of me either but that’s okay, I’m not bitter 🙂

Our camera rolls and galleries are like a digital diary – we can look back and see all the places we’ve gone, things we did, food we ate and people we were with. It lets us reminisce the good days, and when we’re older and can’t afford a house, we can look back at all the avocados we ate and know that they were worth it.

But we don’t just take photos for ourselves and the people that steal our phones – I don’t scroll through my gallery to fondly remember all the cappuccinos I’ve had like. We upload them on social media, namely Instagram. We whack a wee filter on it (mostly “Lagos”) and post it on our stories with a wee geotag of where we are, much to the delight of stalkers, kidnappers and the government. I mean, what’s the point going out somewhere or doing something if people don’t know about it?

We post these for all our followers and creepers to see, incase they didn’t know how much this social butterfly flapped her wings. Uh yeah I have several friends, didn’t you know? You can show off your social life and show your ex that yeah you ARE living your best life. You got a hair cut and you have your life together. Ha. You can show off that yeah you do cook sometimes, you actually did go to the gym after work (go you) and you did get paid today. Make it rain, babe.
It’s nice to post and broadcast things that we’re happy about, things we’ve achieved and people we love like.

As well as this, people are nosey and want to know what you’re doing. Like yeah you work 9-5, but what else do you do? The whole point of Instagram stories is to let people see you what you do when you’re not getting candids or going on nights out as shown by your normal posts. It lets people get to know you a bit better, you’re not gonna pollute everyone’s feeds by posting “pointless” photos (not that your mirror selfies have much of a point either like), but whack a wee story up and people can choose to see it. Who cares if it’s just a photo of poached eggs? And so what if your hair looks weird? It’s gone in 24 hours anyway.

Some people underestimate the power of Instagram. Without realising it, we’re all influencers: showing off your claws and tagging the salon, tagging the tattoo artist in your tat photo, posting that coffee, brunch or clothes haul. Instagram acts as a little window shop basically, you get to see so many things you otherwise wouldn’t, and find out what they’re like, where they’re from and how much they are. It’s not just the “behind the scenes” of people’s lives, but clothes, food, drink and activities. Even posting stories and photos of you going on holidays lets people see what that town, city or country’s like – and what there is to do. What would you rather see, “Top 10 Things to See” on TripAdvisor or real people taking real photos of what they saw there?

Even small things like going out for dinner and taking photos of the food lets people see what it’s actually like. Hardly any restaurants post photos of their food, and when they do, you can never really trust them. Before I go somewhere, I love having a wee jook at the menu, downloading the PDF and of course, having a wee creep on Instagram to see what the food actually looks like. But I don’t go on the restaurant’s account, I look for the tagged and geo-tagged photos. Why? Because these have been taken by real people. It’s like when you see the advertised vs real product from clothes sites. You can’t always trust what the business posts, because they need it to look good, it’s their job to. Like we’ve all seen the McDonald’s ads and know it’s just plain lies.

We need others to take one for the team and be the guinea pigs for us. It saves you going somewhere or buying something that turns out not to be that nice. Yes, “looks can be deceiving” and “don’t judge a book” and all that, but we rely a LOT on what we see. If food doesn’t look nice or the portions are tiny, I don’t want to eat there. If clothes are crap material and poor fit, I don’t wanna buy ’em. If a destination doesn’t have much to do or see, I sure as hell ain’t wasting my sanity or time going through security and flying there.

Businesses are relying on us too, to promote their brand for them. They need us to tell our friends that we went there, what we had and how nice it was. They need us to take photos and share them with our followers. Even those candids and photos of nights out do this. They lead to “omg love your top😍” “thanku sweetie it’s from topshop!!” There you go, Topshop got some free advertising. The girl you follow just acted as a mannequin, but she’s more your size than the 5″10 girl on the website. So you know this top is nice, looks as shown online and yeah you actually could wear it out. So Topshop just got a wee sale and customer. And they didn’t have to do or spend anything to do so.

These real-life posts are a lot more reliable than what you see in ads, websites and brand social media accounts. We all know that the most trustworthy reviews are by people who gain nothing for leaving positive feedback. Critics writing reviews in magazines and blogs isn’t a true representation. They’re normally given the best service and treatment, and are “rewarded” in some way for the review. Imagine getting free food in exchange for giving an opinion, pfft. But most importantly, their tastes are probably more “refined” than ours, well, mine anyway. They go to fancy places for fancy food, posh boutiques for one-off quirky pieces, and cafés that do teeny tiny flat whites and “biscotti”. I’m never going to go to these places, I don’t want to. I want to go to places that my friends and NORMAL people go, because I trust them a lot more.

So, to all the story spammers and feed polluters: please DO continue taking photos of everything, you’re doing us a favour. Shame that you never take pics of the bill though.