A former member of ‘NYU Sober People’ speaks out about no longer being sober
She went rogue
‘NYU Sober People 2019‘ is a Facebook group formed in summer 2015 for incoming freshmen to meet like-minded sober individuals prior to starting college.
Bryanna*, currently a sophomore at NYU, joined the Facebook group when it was formed. She pledged sobriety, but she broke that pledge a few months after starting college.
I spoke with her on 4/20 and naturally she showed up high, which made the interview all the more genuine.
Why did you join ‘NYU Sober People 2019’?
I joined summer 2015 because at the time I didn’t drink or smoke, so I thought, “I might as well be in this group.” I wasn’t desperately in need of a sober community because I wasn’t honestly really planning on staying sober.
‘NYU Sober People 2019’ is a mouthful. Can we refer to it as something shorter?
Yeah, let’s call it Sober Club.
Did you feel that any point the people in Sober Club were judgmental towards their non-sober peers?
A couple of people, but mostly the attitude was, “It’s okay if other people do it, it’s just not for me.” I’ve told a few people I’m doing this interview and they just say they’re sad Sober Club got overrun by people making a joke out of it.
It wasn’t like, “Those dirty party kids with their alcohol and their weed and their cocaine.” I’m still like, “Look at those party kids with their cocaine.”
Why the fuck would you do cocaine?”
Since the time you joined Sober Club and now what substances have you consumed?
Just weed and alcohol.
When did you break your sobriety?
In Florence over winter break of freshman year. I’m of legal drinking age in Italy, and I was like, “I’m going to have a cocktail while I’m out with my friends.”
I drank alcohol and I didn’t destroy my life, so I decided to try weed. I’ve actually gone back to not drinking.
Did you make friends in Sober Club?
Yes. They were actually the first people I smoked weed with.
Whose idea was it to smoke weed?
We were in a group chat with a few of us who had met through the Facebook page and a non-sober person. One of the girls in Sober Club smoked weed, but she didn’t drink. She and the non-sober girl bonded over how they both smoked weed. The sober people just had an interest in trying things.
When did you smoke weed for the first time?
January of 2016.
Tell me the story of the first time you smoked weed.
Oh god. I’ve told this story so many times. It was a mess.
We were in a friend’s bathroom and we were smoking and coughing a lot. There were like seven people in the bathroom and two more people in the room outside. We had lost the baggie while coming in and out of the bathroom.
An RA came in and was like, “Hey we can smell stuff coming from your room,” and the person whose room it was went out and was like, “I was just in the shower.” The RA started to leave, but they saw a baggie by the door.
The RA opened the bathroom door and there were six people who piled out of the bathtub.
What happened after that?
I went home and looked up all the York City drug laws because I was worried about getting arrested.
I freaked out and I was like, “Oh shit I’m high. I have to do something artsy. I have to listen to Kanye West.” I texted my friend like, “Dude, I just got busted for pot.” She came over and made me soup.
Have you had more positive or negative experiences with these substances?
With alcohol, I feel like I have fun, but I always throw up. I don’t enjoy it very much. Aside from getting caught and getting anxious sometimes, being high on weed has always been really positive. I obviously continue to do it.
I mean, I’m high right now.
What do you like specifically about smoking weed?
It’s a nice adventure every time. It changes my perspective a little bit.
What’s the best experience you’ve had with weed?
They’re all good. My best times are when I’m with new friends or just talked a lot about Animorphs. The times where all is right with the world. It’s never earth-shatteringly great. It’s more chill than that, but it’s the ongoing pleasantness in my consciousness.
What’s the worst experience you’ve had while being high?
I was with friends and we were smoking in the West Village. We were scared little freshmen who didn’t realize nobody gives a fuck what you do.
We saw some drunk dude yelling at this gay couple. He was calling them names. I didn’t register it as homophobic slur screaming. Some guys came up and were like, “Oh fuck you dude,” and then he ended up walking away.
I got freaked out and it messed up my high and then I felt selfish for being worried about my own high.
What’s the best experience you’ve had with alcohol?
I went to Argentina this past winter break. It was less about the alcohol and more about the environment. I could’ve had fun if I was sober, but the fact that I wasn’t sober made me a little more uninhibited and things turned out better.
What is your worst experience with alcohol?
All of the times I’ve puked. So many.
Do you ever regret breaking your sobriety pledge?
With alcohol, kind of. I feel like all of the times I’ve had with alcohol would’ve been fun if I had not been drinking.
With weed, no.
What would you say to a member of Sober Club who would be disappointed in you for breaking your sobriety pledge?
It’s all good man. I’m about to take another hit.
*Names have been changed for privacy