Going to a party with your friends can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it can also be stressful. It isn’t uncommon for alcohol to be present at high school and college parties. Although drinking in the moment can be a lot of fun, it can change your life for the worse. Not only can it get you in trouble with your parents, but your life could also change forever. An astonishing 30 people a day die in DUI’s in the United States.
The good news is that you can still have fun partying with your friends without having to drink alcohol. You just have to be prepared to avoid any peer pressure you may encounter with these tips.
Be the Designated Driver
One of the quickest and easiest ways to avoid peer pressure to drink at any party is to offer to be the designated driver. Anytime someone asks why you aren’t drinking, all you have to do is say you’re the one driving everyone home, so you won’t be drinking.
Have a friend or an acquaintance who just won’t let it go? Let them know that you can’t leave the car at the party and find a different way home because you’re borrowing your parent’s car. It has to go home when you do—end of story.
Hold a Mocktail
It isn’t uncommon for people to try and offer you a drink when you’re at a party. If you’re holding something that obviously isn’t alcohol, like water or Gatorade, you’re likely going to spend more time saying no than you would like. Avoid all the attention and carry around a mocktail.
Mocktail recipes are gaining in popularity among all ages, so there’s plenty to choose from that look at taste like the real thing. Because it looks and tastes like an alcoholic beverage, no one will ask if they can get you a drink because it looks like you already have one!
Want to be even sneakier? Bring mocktails to the party to share with everyone and add the alcohol only after you have served yourself first.
Plan Not to Drink With a Friend
Peer pressure can be hard to deal with when it comes from friends or people you look up to, but peer influence isn’t always so bad. If you have another friend who doesn’t want to drink at the party, make a plan to support each other in saying no.
Make sure your friend has a convincing non-alcoholic drink, and they can make sure you have one as well. Stick to each other like glue so you each feel supported if you’re approached with alcohol.
Have more than one friend who doesn’t want to drink? The more, the merrier! The more friends you can get involved, the more comfortable you’ll feel avoiding alcohol at the party.
Know How to Say No With Humor
No matter how much preparing you do, you’re likely to get asked why you aren’t drinking, especially as others at the party start drinking more. Saying no is hard, but it’s a little easier when you learn how to turn down alcohol with humor.
A few things you can say include:
- No thanks. I need all the brain cells I’ve got.
- I’m saving my brain cells for science.
- My mom knows when I’m even thinking about doing something wrong!
- I promised my boyfriend I wouldn’t embarrass him tonight.
If you notice that you’re spending most of your time saying no instead of having a good time, it might be a sign that it’s time to head home.
Make a Plan to Leave Early
The first few hours of a party can be a lot of fun, but if you aren’t drinking, the party is likely to become less fun the longer you are there. Make a plan to leave early so you can avoid the sloppy behavior and increased peer pressure as the night goes on.
Make it easier to take off early by pre-planning your excuse. That way you sound confident and believable when it’s time to go home.
You shouldn’t feel like you have to drink if you’re going to a party. You can still have fun if you don’t drink! You just have to make sure you’re prepared to deal with the peer pressure you might encounter. With the tips on this list, you can have fun and you can avoid trouble, all without offending any of your friends who choose to drink.