The word ‘university’ usually calls to mind two things: studying and partying. They may feel like firm counterparts, with drinking games and nights out being almost a rite of passage for new students. If you’re off to uni but don’t drink, the transition can feel especially daunting, but don’t worry – there are plenty of alcohol-free opportunities to make your experience as memorable as it should be!
1. Join a Club or Society: Clubs and societies are a fantastic way to get more out of university. From sports teams and debate clubs to film societies and study groups, there really is something for everyone. It’s a great way to meet others who share the same interests, get involved in a range of events, and make fond memories you won’t forget.2
2. Explore Your New City: Whether you’re staying close to home or venturing far away, you’re about to find yourself somewhere new, so get out there and explore! Days out with friends are a brilliant way to get to know both them and your new surroundings, and flying solo will teach you valuable lessons in independency. Make it a mission to find the best study spots and chill-out zones, and before you know it, the city will feel like a personal playground.
3. Invest in a Hobby: Even students working during their studies are more than likely to find themselves with a lot of free time, presenting a perfect opportunity to focus on hobbies. Improve upon an existing skill, or start a new project – learn to play an instrument, take up a sport, or give those creative muscles a flex. Whether it’s related to the course, part of a portfolio or a different activity entirely, it’s an excellent chance to enjoy the things you’re truly passionate about.
4. Spend Time Helping Others: Volunteering is a great way to broaden your horizons – you’ll learn new skills, meet kind and interesting people, and feel hugely fulfilled knowing that your efforts are benefitting many others. Look for local charity shops and organisations to get involved with, and find a cause you believe in. If you prefer something closer to student life, check out your students’ union – there’ll be lots of events you can help out with, and you’ll gain some valuable experience in the process.
5. Host Some Events of Your Own: It’s completely true that you don’t need alcohol to have a good time. Get some friends together and mix it up – go bowling, visit a museum, indulge in a bit of retail therapy, or stay in with a movie, some board games and maybe even a little bit of baking.
University attracts people from all walks of life, so not only will you meet plenty of people who respect your sobriety, you may also meet some who share it. Once you’ve settled into your student accommodation and have a supportive group of friends by your side, you’re guaranteed to have fun with whatever you choose to do!
Written by Rachel Holmes