When you think of students and university, one of the more common aspects getting a regular mention is the social life it offers, and with that copious amounts of alcohol. But not everyone drinks and that assumption and expectation to do so can provide some strain and anxiety for students who do not drink alcohol or go on nights out for whatever reason.
I rarely drink, and when I do drink I’m very picky about when, where and who I drink with, so I have dealt with the looks, comments and assumptions that come with that. Living near and studying in Liverpool, a city known for its bars, clubs and nightlife (it is a great night out if you enjoy that), only adds to this.
Having said that, once I explained that I don’t go out drinking and why, most people were fine with it. I also recently found out that one of my friends defended my choice to not go drinking with a group when we were away on a uni trip.
There’s more to life than drinking
Yes there is a point when people stop inviting you out if you do not go out drinking at all, but instead you will get asked if you want to meet up for coffee, shopping or a meal. You can still go to the pub and not touch a drop of alcohol, although this does run the risk of leaving you the person in charge of making sure everyone gets home at the end of the night.
Some of the benefits to not going out is having more money, not dreading the stories of what you got up to the night before and no hangovers; also, if you have a cruel streak in you it’s funny to guess who has the worst hangover in morning lectures.
Obviously drinking isn’t the only thing to do at uni. You can still take part in all of the societies without having to drink at any social or event. Alcohol is not the university experience and you will find people who feel the same way you do, just be honest with people during fresher’s (sorry to state the obvious but regardless of your thoughts on alcohol do not insult anyone who drinks or the drinking culture) and enjoy the beginning of university.
Socialising and making friends happen constantly throughout the year, you may find that you make friends with someone on your course in third year instead of those first few weeks of first year. The important thing is to enjoy the time at university, and you should do that however you wish to.
You can read Nadene Chandler’s response here.
What do you think about the role of alcohol in student life? Have your say in the comments section below.