It's decided. I'm going to try observing OcSober, also known as Sober October.
The first 6 weeks of university have been filled with alcohol here and there, and I don't think it's very good for me. So I am going to try (!) not drinking alcohol in the month of October. It's not about being better than anyone. It's not even about connecting more with those of my fellow students who don't drink. It's not about proving anything to anyone else, but proving to myself that I don't need alcohol, that I just like it. I drink once or twice a week normally and I think I have a quite good relationship to alcohol (especially seen from the perspective of a Danish (!) journalist (!) at college (!).
But what does it say about me that I'm seriously doubting I can pull this off? I'm feeling anxious about the potential defeat before I've even started.
Here are some things I will try to repeat to myself during the month. What if I end up as a journalist (or husband (!?)) in a strictly Muslim country? I'll have to abstain. Also, Muslims are much tougher going through Ramadan (especially when it falls on a summer month in Scandinavia). What about the CISV camps I've done in Sweden, Norway and the US (obviously, the greatest difference is that everyone around me didn't drink either)?
For those of you who don't drink, this post must seem absolutely pathetic. Why should it be so difficult to abstain from drinking for a month? It's not like eternal celibacy, veganism, or other drastic life-changing decisions. I don't expect you to understand why I expect to find this really hard, but you have to know how much alcohol is a part of my cultures: Danish people drink earlier and more than most Europeans, journalists drink more than most professions, and college students drink more than ANYONE, especially when trying to shake together a multi-cultural group of people.
There are also a bunch of social events coming up at UPEACE, and I have next week off from school. That's going to be a serious challenge.
Alcohol to me is a social thing that can be enjoyed over dinner, casually on a bench or at a crazy party - it doesn't mean getting drunk. And I already have one rule about alcohol; I am never the only one in the room drinking alcohol ("I never drink alone" is more catchy, but less concise).
I recommend that anyone from alcohol-drenched cultures like mine try this. If you want to try doing it with me, join the Facebook Event, and we can support each other. (If you already don't drink, it's not much fun.)
Wish me luck, and please support me.
(I actually thought Sober October was a pretty clever name and it fit my timing really well. As it turns out, so did a lot of other people. OcSober is a whole fundraising movement in Australia. I'm not affiliated with nor inspired by their concept.)
My Year in Costa Rica
I'm studying an MA programme (Media, Peace and Conflict Studies) at the UN mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica 2011-12. This blog is about my experiences here, in and out of school.