Catch Ups and Choices

Friday February 7th 2014

Well, back in the Big Smoke again for my second semester of college! Although it felt strange coming back after being on holidays for a month, I was ecstatic to see my roommates again. I didn’t realise exactly how much I missed them until I saw them again!

We all settled down in our sitting room with our cups of tea and swapped Christmas stories and other craic and gossip we had. It was as if the 5 weeks break in between hadn’t happened. We easily drifted into our usual routine with each other again. Gladly, however, the one difference was that my Donegal accent was back with a bang and echoing proudly around the apartment. Even still when I have fellow Donegal friends over and we get into the swing of our conversation, my roommates sit there staring at us, not having a clue what we’re saying but occasionally catching the odd “Aye”, “Sure you know yourself” or “I’m foundered”.

It was great to start new modules in this semester too. Everything is fascinating! I was completely exhausted by the end of the week however.. settling back into the swing of the academic side of things wasn’t as easy as the social side. Early morning lectures and tutorials really do take it out of you! Naturally, for attending them, we rewarded ourselves with a few nights out. Even though it is extremely money draining, you can’t beat a night out in Dublin. Everything seems so much more exciting because you aren’t at home. It’s hard to explain but you’ll just have to take my word for it!

Such is the popularity of going out on certain nights, things can escalate quickly. On Monday passed, there was a crush outside of Coppers and several people were injured, including a Donegal girl. It just so happens that the girl who was badly injured was someone that I went to primary school with. 1,500 people and it ends up being someone from Donegal and someone I know getting injured, what are the odds? Buíochas le Dia, she’s recovering now but it just goes to show what can happen on a night out.

 

Something that has always annoyed me is the stigma that goes along with alcohol. A lot of people have the notion that if someone has taking a drink then they will injure themselves or place themselves in immediate danger. Some people also look down on people who do drink and almost see them as beneath them. As someone who will drink on a night out or at a party, I have the utmost respect for people who choose not to consume alcohol, be it for religious reasons or their own personal reasons. I have several friends who don’t drink and I think that they are completely entitled to do this. It is their choice and I think that it should be respected and that no one should badger or bully them about it. What I don’t understand is why the favour, sometimes, can’t be returned?

 

I’ll take my fellow blogging scholar and Donegal native Aoífe, for example. Aoífe is a pioneer for life, and has always stated that she would be. I think that this is wonderful. I’ve asked Aoífe why she wants to be a pioneer for life and if she would ever drink. She stated that her father was a pioneer and she would be also. She informed me that she would never drink. That was all that was discussed on the topic and it was perfectly fine with me.

Aoífe once asked me why I drank, the clouster had turned the tables on me. I found it harder for me to answer than it had been for her. I couldn’t explain properly why I drank. I enjoy a drink or two, I do it for my own personal enjoyment whereas Aoífe’s decision was for her faith, a faith that we both share. Does this difference in our choices mean that Aoífe is a better Catholic than me? I don’t personally think so but some people do.

If I were to pester Aoífe and try to convince her to drink, that it would be better and she would be much more enjoyable with alcohol, it would be considered peer pressure. I’m trying to change her values or her attitude. Now, if Aoífe were to constantly pester me and try to convince me not to drink, that it would be better and that I would be much more enjoyable without alcohol, would that not also be considered peer pressure ? Apparently not.

 

What I don’t understand is why other people would judge both me and Aoífe’s life choices or decisions when they aren’t the same. Me and Aoífe have a mutual respect for each others choices. We can go on a night out together and enjoy ourselves without our decisions impacting on each other negatively. My choices are my own and Aoífe’s are her own. Our decisions don’t affect each others lives and I will continue to respect her and everyone elses decisions because they are their choices to make and not mine.

 

(Apart from the fact she chose to go to DCU instead of UCD.. that was just silly).

 

Slán go fóill,

 

Áoise