I come from a place where people knew each other’s families and I’d taken having people that I could talk to for granted. At university to begin with it was a bit lonely. Growing up, alcohol had been part of a lot of social activities and when I started Uni I thought everyone would be drinking a lot.
I wanted to be part of things and to begin with a lot of the things people did together involved alcohol. Like other people I was hoping the alcohol would help me form new friendship.
But it wasn’t happening. It was more like someone had pressed fast forward and I was only getting every 5th frame of my life with all these gaps. It took a while but then I realized the way I was drinking was actually making it hard for me to form and keep friendships. People had seen me do things and say things that I didn’t remember – things that I wished I hadn’t said and done. Also it was making my uni work harder.
It wasn’t just me either. A lot of us realized this around the same time that binge drinking was a social handicap, not a social crutch. We started having conversations with each other that we could remember! I got to know people and it’s those people that I think of as my friends now.