Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dear college students, Part 1

"Honestly, I don't think Jesus was against beer or alcohol. But I definitely think he would have a problem with Natty." -My beau

For those teens anxiously anticipating your first orientation day that will kickstart your college freshman year, "Natty" is short for "Natural Light." This is also referred to as "World's Grossest Beer," "Why, why, why are you drinking that," and "Ew, I would rather save up money for a single, decent beer than drink this urine water."

This information shouldn't be helpful to you because you are, after all, eighteen years old, but it does help to know the vocabulary before your blogger drops some knowledge right in your face.
Not an endorsement. Ew, I just gagged.


...Doesn't have to revolve around someone else's expectations. You get to make the call about what kind of college life you want to lead and which choices you want to make.

The other day my beau and I went out for a night on the town and had a great time meeting friendly people. We're more the sit-around-a-fire-pit-and-chat type, but we enjoyed meeting new people and hanging out with our friends.

Our 21+ selves chose to imbibe moderately, but the only beer (yumm) available was a selection of low quality, light beers (ew).

We don't drink much anyway, so the cheaper selection didn't influence anything but our sour faces after the first sip.

Someone once told me that Bud Light was the leftover, reject beer produced after Budweiser cans the top crop. Fellow readers, this is why Jesus would "have a problem with Natty."

These low quality, "low calorie" beers that we see exclusively at college and young adult parties are made available only for their alcohol content (albeit low) and cheaper price. No one enjoys their taste. Their light flavor allows the drinker to fit a few extra cans into their belly, unlike a high-quality, deliciously caloric beer.

The lower alcohol content balances out the light calories because one who drinks to get drunk has to pound down more to feel the buzz and beyond. Youngins tend to pour this into their system as a means to an end, with drunkenness or buzz in sight.

What would Jesus do? First of all, He would obey His parents and wait until Caesar's law and his drinking age matched up. Secondly, he would make water into good wine and leave the case of cheap beer in the corner.
Almost as awkward as a flock of Segways.

To the eighteen-year-old soon-to-be freshmen out there: don't fool yourself into believing that the only "college" experience is at a party. More than likely, there will only be Natty (which you really aren't old enough to drink anyway, but why would you want to) and a bunch of people standing around awkwardly (or belligerently), grasping for someone to stand with.

To the older college students: hopefully you've discovered how boring most of those parties can be. I'll go so far to say that they're boring unless you drink to get drunk, even then, you're just too drunk to notice that you're talking with a complete stranger about an "Animal House" poster on the wall. (Let it be known, I will watch "Animal House" any day of the week.)

To my younger self: I know you used to pretend you enjoyed those parties and you drank with the intention of getting drunk. Later you'll learn that college isn't a one-size-fits-all situation. You aren't missing out on anything by listening to your true self and going to a movie with your friends instead of "going out." There are far more fulfilling ways to spend your college career.

Plus, I want you to learn the fine taste of a good beer without having to drink the flavored eau de toilette that is Natty once you hit your twenty-first birthday.


Dan S. said...

I'm as cheap a guy as they come, but I insist on being a snob-in-training about beer. The only stuff I really enjoy is from one of the local breweries here in San Antonio. It happens to be owned by a Catholic lay member of Opus Dei, which probably biases my opinion.

Thanks for giving out a warning to the youngins!

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith said...

When I was in my college-age years, I wasn't in college, I was in the Army and stationed in Germany. That is where I learned about good Weizen beer, and I have been spoiled ever since then.

Christine Falk Dalessio said...

LOVE the quote. I moved to Germany when I was 17, and, obedient to the local laws there (16 at the time) I was introduced to really excellent beer in a very straightforward manner. Beer was for enjoying in itself, not as a means to a very forgettable end. I agree with Mary - I was also spoiled by it, but I am SO grateful I never got trapped into that go-to-parties-that-are-only-good-if-you're-tanked phase!

Spence Ohana said...

I hate the taste of any beer, yuck! So my hubby was happy to drink my samples when we visited the Samuel Adams brewery in Boston and the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam. :)

Good post and advice for those young college students!

Liesl said...

The one positive thing I can say about Natty is this...

We have "Green Beer Day" at Miami, which is the Thursday before Spring break (since spring break used to be always over St. Pat's Day to deter drinking), and the bars open at 5:30 AM. The specialty? Natty light... dyed green. It's super duper cheap and as I was out for the total experience my senior year, let's say I didn't care what I was drinking.

I wasn't a big beer drinker before then -thought it tasted like liquid bread- but drinking who knows how much green Natty light that early in the morning has now made me appreciate pretty much any beer that is placed in front of me. While I have refined me tastes a bit, I really can drink any beer (although I enjoy some more than others), and it's all thanks to Natty Light!

But this is a good warning :) Thankfully, I waited until I was 21 to drink, but I think I then tried to make up for lost time to catch up with everyone else for the last two years of college! So word to the wise - stay strong, young grasshoppers. You can have fun without the buzz!

David Peru said...

"To the eighteen-year-old soon-to-be freshmen out there: don't fool yourself into believing that the only "college" experience is at a party."

- - Right on. I went through college having never had a beer (thank you fundamentalist college campus rules) and honestly I don't feel like I missed a thing. I had (and have) plenty of friends, no regrets, no drama. And to this day I have never put any of that "piss-beer" to my lips (piss-beer would be Natty, Bud, Miller, Coors, etc).

Since I missed out on the party phase I started out as a low-end beer snob. Drinking is so much more enjoyable when you set out to actually enjoy your beer... and I need to enjoy some Heffeweizen this time of year come to think of it.

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