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Dear Captain,

I’m a 20-year-old college student and I don’t drink, nor will I likely ever drink in the future. My father is an alcoholic, and every family member on his side has some form of substance abuse problem. I know that having a drink now and again will not necessarily hurt me or lead to a drinking problem of my own, but I’ve decided to just abstain completely anyways.

Most of my peers/classmates, however, like to drink and will often talk at length about it. I’ve been asked multiple times about my beer preference or some other alcohol-related question, to which I simply reply I don’t drink. For some reason, most people can’t seem to accept this and will ask me why not, or even try to convince me how great drinking is if I say it’s because I’m not interested. I don’t have a problem with other people drinking or listening to stories about it, but I don’t know how to explain my “disinterest” to other people.

I really don’t want to be a huge bummer in front of other people and say outright, “I don’t drink because my dad is an alcoholic,” but I don’t know how to get people to stop asking questions. “I don’t drink for personal reasons,” also feels like either a bummer or might lead to people asking what those reasons are.

So, Captain is there any way I can sidestep these questions without having to divulge my personal circumstances or bringing down the mood of the group?

Thanks for any help,

Sober in South Florida (she/her)

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Summer Lovin’! I have now exposed myself as An Old.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I am a recent High School graduate and I ¬†am going to start college in the fall somewhat far away from my home state (about an 11 hour drive) and i am so excited I’ve made a countdown and I’ve befriended all of my soon to be classmates on FB and found a blog run by a student who goes to my soon to be college etc etc. I feel like college will be a great time to start over and kind of reinvent myself (I’m shy, somewhat introverted, anxiety prone, and awkward).

I’m also in love with my high school crush and just recently he told me that he loves me and I know he’s serious and telling the truth and everything and it’s great because I love him back. The thing is in the fall I’ll be leaving him for a new life basically. New friends, new habits, new state, new love interest possibly. And he knows this. And he told me he’ll just have to accept my decision because it’s my life and not to put my it on hold for 4 years because of him.

The thing is I really would have put my life on hold for him . I really do love him but I know what he says is true. And I suppose it is pretty naive to think I won’t find someone I really like in college (which is what I was telling myself).

We’ve never been in a relationship with each other though we got really close the last 2 years of HS. And we actually kissed the last like 3 days before graduation!

I don’t really have much freedom to go out and he definitely does not so our chances of physically being together this summer are slim to none. (We have been texting, tweeting, and skyping however).

Here’s the thing. I have some hope that when I return home for the winter break I’ll have more freedom from my parents and that me and him can hang out and go on dates etc. I haven’t told him because if it ends up we don’t keep in touch or he finds someone else I don’t want that to be a broken promise and a hurtful reminder or what could have been. Idk. I just don’t want to make a promise and then not be able to keep it.

Also, I’m kind of hoping that during the time i’m in college until the winter break when I come back home that he’ll have matured (I guess is the right word) a little bit. I’m pretty sure my mom wouldn’t approve of him if we ever started dating and I brought him home to visit. He’s what my mom would call a ‘project’ (because he got ok grades in HS, is not going to college, doesn’t really know what he wants to do, etc) .

But I’m getting ahead of myself! I still have 2 months before I go to college and then from there 4 months until winter break.

Is it stupid to have some hope for the future? Should I get it into my head that we will never be together? Should I voice my thoughts and concerns to him? And how can I get the chance to hang out with him this summer?

Sincerely,

Hopelessly in love college bound student