I started my 20th year having never been drunk, but I can honestly say that I won’t be ending it that way. Most of my friends will know that I’ve never been a drinker. I’ve never had anything against it, it just never seemed to appeal to me. There’s also the factor that while my fellow classmates in my year at school were all getting out ‘steaming’ for the first time, the people I found myself closest too didn’t. I simply didn’t really have the opportunity to drink.

As I reached my 18th year and was finally considered the legal age, I still didn’t feel an overwhelming need to try it. I had a Bacardi Breezer one New Years Eve and a few sips here and there of family member’s drinks, but still no impulse to get wasted. I spent the next couple of years at college, not going on nights out or joining my classmates for a drink simply because I would have rather stayed at home. And let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with that. However, being drunk doesn’t necessarily mean leaving an inappropriate voicemail or making a complete & utter fool out of yourself.

I don’t know what I expected when I decided to attend my sister’s 18th birthday party she decided to host at my grandparents house. I certainly didn’t anticipate drinking and had already made plans to leave early and not stay over like the others.

What happened couldn’t have been more different.

Upon my arrival I decided to have one drink, just to show that I wasn’t the ‘boring old big sister.’ Let me give you a little bit of advice. If you’ve never drank properly before, DO NOT let someone make you a cocktail without letting them know beforehand. I was launched into the deep end with not the weakest of drinks and to top it off was also given a shot. Naturally, I was away.

I don’t know what I visioned being drunk was like, but I did not expect what happened next. I found it hilarious that I was able to think straight, but my actions said otherwise. I was suddenly chatting with my sister’s friends – some of which I had never met before – like there was no tomorrow. Sober Elijah would just sit there quietly and try to make small conversation, but this Elijah was the best of friends with everyone.

All I can say is that I’m glad I decided to sober up before having any more drinks – another cocktail and a few more shots. If you’re able to do this then it can be a whole lot of fun! I know for a fact that if I didn’t drink then I would probably have been itching to get home and would not have decided to stay over last minute. Despite having zero sleep and a bit of drama, I had one of the best nights of my life (not that there are many nights to compare it to) and made some new friends.

I can now no longer shock new acquaintances by awkwardly informing them that I have never been drunk before, and it only took me 20 bloody years.

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