College is different than the real world in many ways. It was a bubble; you were able to act, dress and live in a way deemed unacceptable in the “real world.” It was a time of beer bongs, keg stands and crop tops. It’s when Sundays were for nursing hangovers and handles of vodka were finished before the party.
Your coolness was dependent on how many shots you could take or seconds you could last on the keg. As a woman, your chill factor depended on how well you could keep up with the boys and how quickly you could shotgun a beer.
Taking shots with everyone was part of the camaraderie and enjoying the party meant always joining in on the shot ski.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere between graduating and fitting into your first Ann Taylor pants suit, there was a shift in cultural norms. Somewhere between renting your first apartment and throwing away that college sweatshirt with the questionable stains a new protocol was set.
Cocktail hours and apartment parties no longer consist of jungle juice and Vlad. There aren’t two girls throwing up in the bathroom and no one wants to have a chugging contest.
Your coolness is no longer dependent on how wasted you can get and how many shots you can take without throwing up. Suddenly, it’s cool to be… responsible.
Rather than gaining respect for your wild antics, you’re judged for them. Of course, it’s totally fine to get drunk and enjoy yourself, but now it’s no longer so uncool to be kind of sober.
The girl who refuses the drink is no longer lame, but cool. She’s cool because she knows her limits. She’s cool because she isn’t about to get out of control.
She’s cool because she seems to know that those college years are over. Because people won’t be talking about her drunk stories with awe and empathy, but with pity and a hint of disdain. She’s no longer the girl who ripped 20 shots and stripped for the party, but “that girl who did 20 shots and stripped for the party…”
Unlike in high school and college, where always accepting a drink was hot, refusing a drink is now even hotter. Because now it’s not about how drunk you can get, but how drunk you didn’t get.
Self-restraint is sexy
A woman who knows when to say “no” is a woman in control. Saying “no” is sexy because it turns “yes” into a privilege. Saying “no” when everyone around her is saying “yes” creates a unique coolness that can’t be replicated by the girl who will drink anything you give her.
People respect a woman who knows how to keep herself grounded, even when everyone else is jumping off tables.
She’s not a guaranteed thing
She’s not the kind of woman you can tempt into a few shots and promise the world to; she is a woman who needs to be won over in different ways.
You can’t feed her shots until she warms up to you, and buying drinks won’t score you extra points. She’s not going to be an easy score, but that’s why scoring with her is worth more.
She knows her limits
A girl tests her limits, a woman knows her limits. She is not figuring out how to handle herself or how far she can go. She knows her limitations and she sticks to them.
She’s crossed lines before, but now she’s ready to stick to the side that makes her most comfortable.
She doesn’t succumb to peer pressure
If you can’t pressure her to take a shot, there’s most likely a few other things you can’t pressure her to do.
Peer pressure is not always the easiest thing to say no to, but a woman who can resist it is a woman who has strength. She knows herself and doesn’t need her peers to determine her worth.
She can hold her own
She can stand in the middle of a party and not feel insecure or uncomfortable. She doesn’t need to take shots to feel better and certainly doesn’t need the beer bong to make friends.
She understands that alcohol doesn’t always get more people to talk to her, but rather behind her. She’d rather hold her own than another glass.
She’s capable of having fun without alcohol
She doesn’t need liquor to get along with everyone. Refusing a drink doesn’t mean she’s stuck up, but rather, always cool. She doesn’t need to take shots with people to get along with them because she already does.
A woman who doesn’t need alcohol to make small talk is a woman who can go anywhere, and she won’t demand an open bar.
This post first appeared on elitedaily.com