“Okay. We’re going to get as drunk as we can in thirty minutes.”

Not one to say no to such a challenge, I let Nat into the suite and put my homework aside. It was a Thursday night. Emma was at dinner with friends, Maya had gone home for the weekend and I wasn’t really sure where the other suitemates were – I was too focused on being a complete loser and getting some boring assignment out of the way. Nat had a not-particularly-exciting party coming up and didn’t want to pre-game alone. I met Nat on the first day of classes, but it’s hard to say exactly how we became friends. Regardless, he’d become a regular presence in the suite and a great drinking buddy.

“If we only have half an hour, we have to take shots.” It’s only logical, right? I poked around the suite’s tiny kitchen for shot glasses, but we never really had much use for them. Who doesn’t prefer a strong cocktail? What we did have were those strangely large orange caps that came with the bottles of Tropicana the suitemates and I used to ward off the never-ending colds we all came down with regularly (and mix with booze). Laughing at the sheer ridiculousness, I poured shaky shots of flavored vodka (Nat’s preferred poison) into a couple of spare caps. We chuckled and cringed and took a few more for good measure.

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Upon leaving just over thirty minutes later, Nat said goodbye and stumbled his way out to a party that would definitely be a little more interesting than before. I don’t really remember what I did next, although it definitely wasn’t homework. I’d always been a pretty straight-laced, school-comes-first kind of girl, but college changed that. Maybe it was the fact that my friends were always nearby or the thrill of living on my own for the first time or the fact that the endless New England winter had me on the verge of cracking up, but by the beginning of my second semester I had started to shed my type-A skin. I had become the kind of girl who could forget about school for one night and take shots from Tropicana caps.  I like to think that particular change has been for the better.

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