As a student at a Big 10 University, it can be hard to imagine carrying out daily and weekly college rituals with a clear mind. While the rest of the town is drinking away their sorrows of a long of midterms and 10-page papers, Penn State students such as I lie in wait for the opportunity to participate without bringing the bottle to my lips.

While this seems unlikely, I know it can be done. Just because I live in an environment soaked to the core in booze doesn’t mean there are not things for me to do. As a college student, the world is my oyster. While I’m an adult with the freedom I need to experiment, I’m also still young enough to try and fail at new things and still get up and dust myself off.

I’m very involved on campus and hold many leadership positions in clubs as well as participate as mere members in others. I exercise. I spend time at home with my roommates making dinner and playing cards as well as time alone studying in the library. I also have a few hobbies, like managing my own travel blog for instance.

As for off campus, I’m also involved as well. State College is abundant with bars and fraternity house busting at the seams with cheap beer and drunken potential hook-ups. You’d think this would a place a sober person such as myself would avoid like the plague. Quite the contrary, I embrace and even seek out these places.

I do not drink at these places. But that doesn’t mean there’s no take-away from the fun environment. You can still let loose without forcing your body to do so with sedative drugs like alcohol. Live music, new people and old friends, and some tasty bar food and virgin cocktails sounds like something I’d take over a night in the library any day.

Sober living in college does not mean sedentary living or lonely living. Your college life can live and thrive just as much, if not more, when your brain, mind, and body are not gunked up with alcohol and it’s many after effects.