If you're a non-drinker heading off to university, don't worry! The amount of alcohol that sometimes gets drunk by students at UK universities might seem a bit overwhelming, but there's so much more to university than that.
Sometimes, people act like the only way to enjoy the real student lifestyle is to drink all the time, but you will find there are actually plenty of other people who are either tee-total or don't drink very much at all. Non-drinkers can still have a brilliant time during freshers, can still make plenty of friends, and can still enjoy everything that's great about going to uni.
Here are our top tips for survivng university while sober...
Don't be embarrassed
Don't be embarrassed to say that you don't drink. After all, it's your decision and it's a choice that many people make for a wide variety of reasons. The majority of people you meet will respect and understand your decision and won't make a big deal out of it.
Many traditional university activities will involve a lot of alcohol being consumed, but that doesn't mean you can't go along too. It's not actually necessary to be drunk to enjoy a club night... You can enjoy the silly antics of everyone else without the troublesome hangover the next day. Yay!
Find other non-drinkers
One of the nicest things about going to university is the number of new people you'll meet. And there are bound to be plenty of other people around who also don't drink among your new neighbours, flatmates, coursemates, and people you meet at societies. Of course you can be friends with both people who drink and people who don't drink, but it's always nice to have someone to spend time with when you feel like you're the only sober person on campus!
Organise some events
Drinking tends to go with certain activities, like clubbing or house parties. But there are also plenty of events that don't mix well with alcohol; cinema trips, going out for brunch or lunch, shopping trips, playing sports... If you want a way to get to know your new flatmates or coursemates away from the booze, why not organise an event and invite them along?
Attend other events
Many societies will hold regular clubs or events throughout the university year that do not involve any alcohol. From life-drawing to archery to theatre trips, there are bound to be some alcohol-free activities you'll enjoy. Find a couple you like and go along regularly to make sure you're getting the most out of your time at university.