Or, “I judged everyone all the time to feel better about myself.”
Now that I’ve graduated from my “no alcohol allowed” university, I feel like I can actually say (or in this case, type) the word “alcohol” and not get in some sort of trouble. Lee University’s Community Covenant is airtight for all those who attend (as long as you also don’t dance or gossip) and out of all of the issues, alcohol is the biggest battle across the board.
These posts are not meant to be a criticism of the Community Covenant, but rather of a possible side effect of the 4-year restriction—the “No Happy Medium” effect. Either people go unhealthily buck wild with drinking during college/upon entering the “real world” or they abstain & adopt an equally detrimental view of drinking, treating alcohol and those who drink it with disdain & judgment masked as righteousness.
Either/or scenarios are usually never really healthy. Trust me, I was all about them. Spoiler alert, I always chose the judgmental path.
Four years of college really, truly changes you. Rereading my old journal from freshman year is like browsing through a stranger’s diary. One thing’s for sure: 18 year old Kelsy would’ve sorely judged the current me.
I was raised to be elitist and that was really fun, for the most part. I felt special, like I had a secret identity that was bottled up inside of me. I especially felt superior around those who drank. Whenever I’d babysit for other families, I’d always check their fridges and shake my head in despair whenever beer or wine was present. Those poor, poor kids, I’d think.
In college, I had several soapbox speeches prepared for all about how drinking and partying were just acts of desperation and escapism (Sidenote: you know how I feel about parties. I’m just awkward). I’d cite that I had a mantle of leadership and felt like I was too good and too smart to ever drink, as if one sip would forever crumble any future good I could accomplish. I had conversation after conversation with my “worldly” drinking friends, trying to win them back into the light of sobriety and out of the evil clutches of Jagermeister. I tried to change people by molding them into what I thought was a model of virtue—so, like myself, naturally.
Looking back, my judgmental attitude is still so cringeworthy. I was so blind and unloving—you can’t make a difference in any capacity when you’re self-righteous. I turned off a ton of people with my superiority complex towards drinking. That’s not the sign of a true leader. Luckily, I had a few really kind, true friends who saw past that façade and loved me unconditionally, despite the fact I obviously had trouble doing the same.
If you’re reading this and could relate to the paragraph 2 above this one with all of the soapbox speeches, just say no! Judgement does not offer freedom. It will master you without hesitation (and it’s a lot harder to detect.)
And really…drinking’s not that big of a deal. Certainly not as bad as I made it out to be (In excess, yes—that’s unhealthy, unbiblical, and 100% escapism. But more on that in Part II.) Alcohol is taboo not because of the Bible, but rather, the last 150 or so years or American prohibitionist history*. (Trust me, I studied advertising.)For me, my attitude was more poisonous than any sort of drink. I’m thankful for the wake up call I received that’s continuously helped me realize that the real problem was the judgment in my heart.
(*Part II coming soon: Why drinking isn’t unbiblical, just controversial)