Headache, nausea and aches in every muscle. An intense desire for bacon, caffeine, greasy eggs and toast. “I’m never drinking again.” It’s a vow that most university students have made on a Saturday or Sunday morning and given up the next weekend.
Dallas Power and Missy Tompkins decided to quit drinking, and so far, they’re succeeding. From Nov. 1 until New Year’s Eve, they are living sober.
“Everyone gave us two weeks, not two months,” says Power.
Power lives in Chatham Hall, which he describes as “pretty rowdy.” At 18, he’s the same age as many first year students, and younger than his peers. A second-year at St. Thomas University, Power has a reputation for being a partier and a brain.
When Power first came to STU it was on a scholarship that can be renewed every year so long as his GPA is 3.5 or higher. This year is about getting that scholarship back, though with a 3.3, Power’s grades are anything but shabby.
“I try to balance my social and academic lives. I never don’t do the work, if I have a paper or an assignment I make sure I do it,” says Power.
The decision to quit drinking for two months originated with Tompkins.
“Friends joke, they’ll call us alcoholics. They always say, ‘You couldn’t stop drinking even if you wanted to’ kind of thing.”
Tompkins and Power are both from Bridgewater, NS and have known each other for years. Tompkins says it wasn’t until they came to university that they really became friends and started hanging out.
In September, Tompkins decided she wanted to take a break from alcohol. She didn’t want to do it alone, so she asked Power to take a break with her.
“We tried to pick the best two months to do it. November-December is the hard part of the semester and seemed like a good time to do it,” says Power.
But not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean they don’t go out. Power and Tompkins still go to pubs and bars with friends, though the experience is different without the alcohol.
“It felt weird, dancing without holding something, so I ordered a diet coke,” says Power.
Tompkins has mostly been to pubs since they stopped drinking.
“At the pub it’s more sitting and talking, which is still fun for me. I haven’t been in the mood to go dancing,” says Tompkins.
It’s been almost a month since Tompkins and Power decided to take their break.
“They viewed it as a joke at first, but I think people are starting to take us more seriously as it goes on,” says Tompkins.
She says she has been posting pictures of herself doing other things on Facebook, and people are starting to ask how things are going instead of ribbing her about not drinking.
Power is enjoying the break more than he thought he would.
“It’s cool being able to drive myself when I want to go out instead of taking the bus.”