How to handle fresher's week without drinking alcohol

AFS Team·5 September 2018·5 min read
How to handle fresher's week without drinking alcohol

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By Elizabeth Whittingham

Although alcohol may seem like the ‘be all and end all’ when it comes to having the courage to chat to new people during Fresher’s Week, for some people, drinking alcohol just isn’t an option.

You might be ill, be on medication that forbids alcohol, it may be against your religion, your morals or beliefs, you might just not even like the taste or the feeling of being drunk!

Whatever the reason, facing a night out (or even a whole week of clubbing!) sober, with your drunk pals can be daunting, so here are some top tips on how to own being sober- and to still have a good time!

#1 Don’t make excuses

Make sure that you are not made to feel guilty for not drinking by your fellow new fresher’s friends, assert that it is your decision and stand by it. This is especially important when it comes to health risks, if the reason you are not drinking is due to it being unsafe to do so on a certain medication, then don’t listen to everybody else- stand by your decision and look after yourself- that’s the most important thing. When people ask why you are not drinking, it’s best not to lie, tell the truth and don’t let yourself be teased for it- and if people are going to do so, it’s best to be thankful that you’ve seen what kind of person they can be before getting too invested in that university friendship…

#2 Don’t brag about your clean streak

Although it’s completely fine to own not drinking alcohol, if it’s based around personal self-control and healthy living, try not to flaunt it- you don’t want to make people feel embarrassed or conscience of the amounts they are drinking- that’s a definite party killer.

#3 Find people like you!

Trust me, you are not going to be the only one during Fresher’s Week who doesn’t drink, so get looking for sober people and have a chat- maybe popping onto the accommodation Facebook page and asking around will be a great place to start.

#4 Remember to join in the fun!

Although the presence of alcohol may make dancing the night away much easier for some people, it’s also perfectly possible and plausible for you to have fun whilst sober. Get involved and get dancing. Laugh at everyone’s stupid jokes and remember that there is no pressure.

#5 Have a drink

No, not like that! But seriously, actually having an non-alcoholic drink in your hand will stop people asking if you would like one, and therefore avoid you having to turn them down every single time. It will also stop people from pondering why you are not drinking, as they will never know- and it will stop any unwanted attention at the club- brilliant.

#6 Be understanding

You will be a lot more aware of your surroundings whilst you are sober, and the things that may not annoy you as much whilst drunk, such as people pushing past you or accidentally tipping a drink down you, shouting or dancing in your face, may be very hard to deal with whilst sober. Just remember to be understanding and remember that everyone is drunk! However, just because people have had a few drinks, this does not excuse inappropriate behaviour, and make sure you call out anyone who oversteps the line.

#7 Remember to relax and know when to head home

There will inevitably be a time when people are starting to get to the messy side of drunk, and the wave that you have been riding is crashing. As a sober participant, it’s always best to listen to your body and go home for some rest. Just say goodbye, accept the drunken hugs, (which are usually meant in good will), and leave.

Remember, the only thing stopping you from having a good night sober is yourself.
Try not to turn up with preconceived ideas and remember to just go with the flow, enjoy yourself and have fun.

(You will also feel a lot better in the morning too!)

#8 Head to non-alcohol based social events

On a side note from clubbing, it is important to remember that not all occasions during Fresher’s Week are based heavily around alcohol. There are plenty of events in the daytime based around activities, agility courses, BBQs and garden parties- all aimed at meeting new people. If you would like a relaxing night without alcohol then maybe a movie evening with your flat could be a great idea, or even a trip down the pub for a diet coke and the weekly quiz!