I walked into the house where the "party of the century" was going to be held. I was psyched to be going. At the time I was a little naive freshman invited to my first official high school party at a senior’s house. I was at the party no more than 30 minutes when this boy offered me a drink. Thinking nothing of it, I agreed. He brought back a half-filled cup.
Before I took a sip, I recognized a familiar smell, one I really couldn’t my finger on. It wasn’t Pepsi and I knew it wasn’t Sprite. Then it hit me, I was being offered alcohol. I was only a freshman, and I was being offered a glass of alcohol. My first glass of alcohol. I could not believe it.
Was this what growing up meant? Being able to drink and do exactly what my parents and teachers had been telling me not to do for as long as I could remember? I looked around the room, and saw other people drinking the same stuff, then I saw them stumbling around, and some were in the corner puking. This never happens to the people on the beer commercials on TV, why should it happen to these kids?
As I saw these people, my peers, the truth finally hit me, alcohol isn’t for teenagers, no matter what the commercials say. Not only does alcohol make you look ridiculous, it’s illegal for people my age to be drinking. In a survey conducted by the Associated Press in 1998, almost half of the American teenagers were drinkers. This same substance I had been told to refuse my entire childhood was being consumed by nearly half of my peers. According to that same survey, nearly 9 out of 10 teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age had their first alcoholic beverage after their 11th birthday. At this point, was I suppose to become a statistic or be that one out of ten people who doesn’t use alcohol?
In D.A.R.E., the drug education program children are taught up until they enter high school, they always tell you to “Just Say No”, but I bet they have no clue what goes through the mind of naive teenagers who see all of their peers having a “great time” while they try to be the good kid and refuse.