Alcohol-free Freshers’ Week:
a guide for the students staying sober
Refuting the myth that alcohol is necessary for fun as a student, Vixi Mann discusses how to throw yourself in to university life without it.
For years now, alcohol has been viewed as an integral part of the university experience, and with it comes the opinion that if you’re not spending each morning nursing a fuzzy head, you’re not having as much fun as everyone else. But recently, this interpretation of “student life” has started to shift, and more and more students are maintaining a teetotal lifestyle whilst keeping their social calendar as busy as the drinkers’. So, for the students who want to wake up feeling fresh after Freshers’ Week, here’s a guide to sober socialising – from someone who’s done it herself…
Parties and Events
In a post-lockdown world, now is as good a time as any to be going to university as a teetotaller. With most clubs set to be closed for the foreseeable future, there’s less pressure to only socialise whilst drunk or surrounded by pounding speakers, so use the opportunity to get to know everyone in the comfort of your own halls.
Don’t be afraid to get involved in your flat’s social events, and rest assured that drinking games are far more fun for someone tasked with downing a virgin vodka cranberry, than those doing the same with Echo Falls. And if you are trying to sustain yourself on eventual nights out, have a red bull – you’ll thank yourself in the morning!
Socialising is all about showing your face, so if you want to get involved in a society, go to every event you can – whether it’s face-to-face or virtual – and bear in mind that people are far more likely to remember you in a positive way if you weren’t blacked-out by 10pm! When in-person socials eventually start up, remember that there will usually be a few committee members who’ve stayed sober for the occasion, so you’re never on your own.
Bear in mind that people are far more likely to remember you in a positive way if you weren’t blacked-out by 10pm!
Many societies, in particular outdoors and fitness groups – like BodySoc and Expedition Society – primarily run events that don’t involve any alcohol – but are still great ways to make friends. And, if you want to join a competitive sport there is nothing forcing you to go to socials, and even then, there should never be pressure put on you to drink.
One final tip is that you shouldn’t have to feel responsible for those around you just because you’re the sober friend – you are not their designated driver! As long as no one is left alone whilst in a bad state, you are free to leave any event when you’re no longer having fun.
Whilst drinking culture is an accepted part of university life across the U.K., that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone, so whatever your reasons for wanting to stay sober, remember that anything they can do, you can do without the hangover!
Have a brilliant Freshers’ Week and enjoy the compliments on how much money you must be saving!