Unfiltered is a series we showcase in our print mags each month where Brisbane readers share their stories about the good, the complicated and everything in between. This month we discuss: alcohol.
In general, young people get excessively drunk as a form of escapism. An attempt to escape boredom, an attempt to quiet a mind that wants to be engaged. Those that get written off drunk each and every weekend do so because it allows them to hush their brain’s ambitions to be engaged in something meaningful. It is the easy option out in a society that lacks an intellectual culture and significant cultural history. With few opportunities for intelligent stimulation for young adults in Australia, getting excessively drunk on the weekend provides an opportunity to dull busy minds. It provides youngsters with an experience in the now, that is attached to one of the only cultural activities we have.
MS. WORK IN PROGRESS
I feel there is a lot of pressure to drink in Aussie culture. I think as a society we have really normalised excessive drinking. I struggle with binge drinking myself, on a night out I find it incredibly hard to pace myself as the effects of alcohol hit me really quickly and I always get carried away. I personally hate excessive drinking as I feel it has gotten me in some pretty hairy situations in the past, but yet I feel I can’t say no to it in a social setting. My way of dealing with this is either by avoiding alcohol altogether or drinking in safe environments around people I trust. Eventually, I would like to get to a point in my life where I never drink or enjoy just one glass of red wine with dinner like a European.
MS. BEING LECTURED
My parents have often suggested I drink too much and every time (without fail) when I go out, my dad will text or call to say, ‘take it easy, don’t drink too much and stay tidy’. He worries a lot. I worried even more-so when my brother would go out drinking because it really can take only one punch; and being a boxer and a bit of an angry teen, I was always expecting a call to say he’d been hurt or locked-up. I believe this angst comes from my dad enjoying one-too-many in a country town during his adolescence. There’s not a lot to do out there except drink and kick the footy and perhaps this has just intensified and evolved from generation to generation. I think Australians take drinking too far – look at Europe’s casual approach and mild intoxicated behaviours in comparison. It’s part of their culture, not a way to deal with their culture.
MS. PARTY ANIMAL
I feel as though Australia has a very “drink to get drunk” culture. Generally, I like to have a few drinks to relax, be more confident and hold conversation easily. However, I do find it quite hard to stop after just a few drinks… when I drink it’s either 0 or 10, no real in-between. This year I did the whole Euro summer thing and when I’d introduce myself as an Australian, it would always warrant some sort of response like “you know how to party” or, “Australian’s are wild.” Look, they weren’t wrong… without a doubt we were always the last ones standing. And if I’m honest, that’s probably not a good thing.
MS. CULTURAL CELEBRATION
Coming from Greek heritage, red wine has always been a symbol of celebration. When it’s a birthday, we drink. If there’s a special event, we drink. We raise a glass in toast, honouring the moment and reflecting on what it means. It’s our Sunday beverage of choice, sharing a moment across the table to our health, ‘Stin ygeiá sas’. We’re all about celebrating the little things in life and appreciating what we’ve got in the moment and red wine is essential for that. Opa!
Got a topic you’d like us to talk about? Email Courtney at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, have a read of our previous Unfiltered stories:
Unfiltered: Public vs. Private School
Unfiltered: Anxiety and Mental Health
Unfiltered: Social Media