Partying hard, downing shots, puking in the street at 2am – a familiar snapshot of a university student’s life. Especially during Freshers’ Week. Or is that perception of students simply an out-dated stereotype?
Studies have shown young people are drinking less alcohol than the generations before them.
Still, although young people are drinking less alcohol these days, a big drinking culture at university remains. So, if you’re a non-drinker, you may be wondering how you’ll cope, when you’re drinking water instead of wine.
Here’s how to enjoy yourself without drinking alcohol at university. Even if everyone else in your student accommodation is caning it every night.
Societies and events
All universities have societies and events, some of them will be geared to the booziest boozehounds around. But there will also be societies and events for non-drinkers.
If you don’t feel inclined to join a group that specifically targets tee-totallers, join societies that aren’t geared to drinking. You’ll meet new people and make new friends who have similar interests to you and aren’t interested in spending all their time drinking.
You don’t have to sit in every night with a cup of tea and a book while your friends are out exploring the local bars and clubs (unless sitting in with a cup of tea and a book is your idea of the perfect night in – in which case, go for it).
There’s a huge range of alcohol-free beers, spirits and wines now and all bars and clubs will offer at least one (and if you’re ever in a Wetherspoons, which you probably will be due to their cheap drinks, they have tons of AF drinks).
If alcohol-free versions of alcoholic drinks aren’t your thing but you don’t want to feel left out or look different to everyone else, then remember that plain tonic looks just like gin and tonic, Coke looks just like vodka and Coke, etc., and if you ask the bar staff to pour your drink into a fancy glass, you’ll look no different to anyone else.
It’s definitely worth remembering though that a) your friends won’t actually care if you’re not drinking and b) they’ll probably be too drunk to notice anyway.
Relax in other ways
It can be stressful being a student. And when we say ‘it can be’, we mean ‘it is.
Moving away from home, making new friends and the colossal debt you may be in at the end of your degree, are all things that can weigh heavily on a student’s shoulders.
If the stresses of student life are getting to you and you feel like reaching for a drink to soften the edges, find other ways to relax.
A few suggestions are:
- A bath
- A book
- A chat with a friend
Being alcohol-free at university will mean a different experience for you than a lot of your course mates. Don’t let anyone pressurise you into drinking. Just remember – who’s going to graduate with the best grade at the end of the degree? The clear-headed non-drinker or the student who partied hard, missed a lot of lectures and turned up bleary-eyed and late to most of the seminars?Love Lilla xx