By: Maya Luque
Mix one part lonely, two parts self pity and one part wishful thinker and you’ve got me in a very rough moment. The kind of moment Rachel from the show GLEE had when she said she’d throw a party. The kind of moment Rachel had when she opened her father’s liquor cabinet for her “friends.” She was probably thinking along the lines of “I want to be popular. I want to be liked.” These thoughts can be dangerous because they lead to: I need to be popular. I need to loosen up. What will make people like me? The answer to all of these questions, in the show GLEE, was alcohol. But that doesn’t mean it’s always the answer.
Personally, I wish there was one solid answer to making more people like me but I know for myself that drinking and/or partying isn’t what’s going to make people stick with me when times are rough, or even when I just don’t feel like drinking that day. And the fact is that I want people to stay with me when times are tough, which is bound to happen at points.
Rachel was peer pressured into throwing a party, by others and by herself. She wanted people to like her, she wanted to “live” for once. Along with the outside peer pressure she was getting this was a precarious mix. All of this nonsense made her forget and forgo her true passion, songwriting, to go after something with an expiration date; her fellow GLEE members’ company and “friendship.”
I’m not saying that drinking is all bad and I’m not trying to say that it’s a cure-all liquid either. The fact is, there is no magic potion that will make everything better. There just isn’t. There are ways, though, that you can make yourself feel a bit better about your own situation and standing in life. You can write down the word “why?” on a piece of paper and anytime you have a hasty thought such as “I need to drink” look at it and answer it for yourself. I have one above my wall at home and it actually helps. The visual of seeing something makes me think why I am doing what I am doing, or why do I care that others think I’m boring for not drinking. I think if everyone stopped and looked at their own “why?” cards we as a society would have less “whys” and more actions we can be proud of.
Rachel could have asked why but she didn’t really give herself a chance. She didn’t have the visual to snap herself back into reality. The visual of a word, even if it isn’t the word “why” can really help. It can begin a change in a direction we can be proud of.
I know I can’t sing like Rachel and I’ve certainly never been thrown up on like Rachel but I have felt lonely or depressed like she has before. And I’ve thought like her too. I’ve thought maybe it’d be easier to just drink and “be cool.” But now as I grow in more directions I’m learning to not give in to the party peer pressure. I want to be proud of my actions and one day if that includes drinking so be it. But I want to like myself and like my decisions and I know I won’t if I get peer pressured into drinking. After writing this I am more confident in choosing my own path. Drink or not I am now one part more confident, two parts ego boost, and three parts relieved.