Heed my warning: Be careful with alcohol

Amanda Johnson

Fellow students, as an older student speaking from experience, I have made my fair share of questionable decisions. At 33 years of age and a junior in college, I have made choices that have held me back and caused some delays in my journey to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. 

For over 10 years, I continuously made the choice to consume alcohol, which resulted in severe alcoholism. 

At first, I had everything going for me. 

I took a couple years off after high school to enjoy myself for a bit before I made the jump to college. I attended community college and graduated with a liberal arts associate’s degree in Multimedia Communications and Graphic Design. 

It seemed like I could not fail. 

But, after several dead-end jobs and life struggles with boyfriends and living situations, I started to feel a bit ‘stuck’ for lack of a better word. I was feeling increasingly anxious and frustrated by my situation, so I turned to something to take the edge off. 

I started drinking.

At first, it was just occasionally, as it usually is in these cases. 

But, as I started to grow increasingly fond of the feeling of ‘letting go,’ I started to drink a little more, and more, until it became glaringly obvious that I had a problem. 

My social life, my relationships with family and friends, they suffered tremendously, and I had trouble even making a job work out for any length of time. 

I finally let my family step in and help as they had tried so many times before to a stubborn, unflinching addict. 

I started going to A.A, kept a good job with great benefits, and I finally went back to school, seeking my bachelor’s degree. 

I have never felt more proud than I do now.

The point I am trying to make is that you are here, continuing your education for a reason. Take it from someone who has experienced it. I have seen too many dreams and ambitions destroyed by drugs and alcohol not to tell my story. 

You are young, and you have yet to experience so much of what life has to offer. The urge to party it up with friends usually includes drugs and alcohol, and is tempting and hard to resist. 

However, it does have a devastating downfall if done in excess and irresponsibly. 

So please heed my warning. I was one of the lucky ones. Not everyone bounces back from addiction. Do not let hard partying interfere with you and your education, your road to success. Use this time wisely. 

By all means, enjoy that occasional drink with your friend on the weekend, but enjoy it responsibly. Know your limit and try not to drink too much. Put your studies first and look out for one another. I would like to conclude with a quote from Chapter Two in the ‘big book,’ “Alcoholics Anonymous,” titled ‘There is a Solution.’ 

“…an illness involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can. If a person has cancer, all are sorry for him and no one is angry or hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all the things worthwhile in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer’s. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents—anyone can increase the list.” 

– Amanda Johnson 

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