It’s Freshers week. You’ve just moved into a brand new place, surrounded by brand new people. Once you’ve finished unpacking and saying your final goodbyes, getting to know the people you’ll be living with for the next year is on everyone’s mind.
Someone will undoubtedly suggest that drinks and perhaps a night of clubbing is the perfect way to make new friends. You’ve got your freshers events timetable and it is chock-full of alcohol related events. This is all good and well, and is what many would coin the ‘Real Freshers Experience’, but is this all it’s really about?
During my Freshers week, I went out with my flatmates almost every single night. Not only did I blow an enormous hole in my bank account, but I also look back on it now with less than fond memories. Don’t get me wrong, it was great getting to know the people I would live with for the next year and making new friends in the club’s toilet queue, and not something I would entirely change. However, I know for a fact that on days I spent curled in bed trying to ignore the throbbing in my head and the nausea I felt whenever I moved, I definitely missed some experiences that are just as essential to the ‘Real Freshers Experience’. A year on, I’ve learned how I can have a great time without getting drunk, or even drinking at all.
If you don’t drink, it may seem like there aren’t any opportunities for you during Freshers’ week. Thankfully, the truth is on the contrary. The uni offer some brilliant day time activities, such as the Bunfight, and some essential events such as your introductory lectures, the Union and Halls also run evening activities such as games nights and film showings. So, just because you aren’t drinking, doesn’t mean you have to choose to stay in entirely.
It is also possible to go and enjoy a night of clubbing without getting drunk. Learning your limits doesn’t have to be done the hard way. A great way to keep yourself from going past the point of no return, is to alternate your drinks between your alcohol of choice, and a glass of water. You can also give yourself a cut-off time, at which point you stop drinking. Many people will only drink while they’re still in their flats, and not whilst there out, which also saves you money! These techniques should keep you in the happy medium point and prevent you from drinking too much.
Of course there is nothing wrong with going out with friends to a club without drinking at all. If you’re comfortable and confident, it will show. You don’t have to drink to have a good time, just make it clear that you being sober doesn’t mean you get lumped with the responsibility of looking after your drunken friends.
Enjoy your first year, Fresher!
Please drink responsibly.