When you think of uni, you generally think of excessive drinking and nights out. Hayley from Honestly Russell gives you her advice today for surviving uni when you don’t drink!
“Hello, everyone! My name is Hayley and I’m going to be writing today about studying at university whilst not being a big drinker. But first I’m going to give you a quick intro about myself and my university experience. I’ve just completed the third year of my chemistry degree at the University of Edinburgh. I’m on the MChem degree programme which is a five-year long undergraduate degree that combines an honours degree, a masters degree and a 12-month work placement. I’m about to start my work placement in Connecticut, USA later in the month. I’ve also been blogging on www.honestlyrussell.com for 5 years about life, travel and books.
Due to the Scottish education system, I started university at 17. Not being able to drink during Fresher’s week is a little awkward! So I guess you could say that I had to adjust to not being able to drink at university very quickly. Drinking is such an ingrained part of UK university that it feels a little intimidating if you don’t enjoy drinking or like me – couldn’t!
One of my biggest tips would be to join clubs or societies that aren’t heavily focused on drinking. Things like sports societies! Whilst they may have socials that involve pubs or drinking, the main focus of their meetings won’t be drinking and you’ll be able to make some friends outside of the pub. Friendships really form during freshers week so it’s a little scary if you know you’re not going to be drunk and chatting away in club queues. As boring as it sounds, I’ve really enjoyed my time as part of the knitting society.
I’d also recommend letting your friends know that you’re uncomfortable with the idea of getting really drunk. Once they’re familiar with it and know to expect it of you, they won’t try to get you to drink more etc. If you do have friends that are constantly trying to get you blind drunk when they know you don’t want to – go and get new friends. Don’t allow anyone to pressure you!
And finally, if you do decide you want to start experimenting more with drinking, take things gradually. Start off which a few drinks at the pub. I went straight in for the whole clubbing thing, hated it and then didn’t go to a club for another few months. I’ve since discovered that I don’t mind going to a club – if I’m in the right mood- but that first experience reaaally put me off. I’m also partial to a cocktail or two in a bar. If I’m going to spend money on booze, I want to be able to remember it.
So in summary: if you don’t want to drink at uni, that’s totally fine. Find friends outside of the pub, be open about not enjoying drinking with your friends and don’t let anyone push you out of your comfort zone.”
Thank you to Hayley for such a wonderful post full of great advice if you’re not a big drinker and are worried about that aspect of university.
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