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College Life: Staying Sober at a Party

Updated on December 8, 2017
Lady Lorelei profile image

Mother of two girls & grandmother to 6. Writing is my hobby, my work, my play, & my passion. I have enjoyed writing online since March 2007.

Students and Drinking Don't Mix Well Together

Unfortunately alcohol abuse is an aspect of college life that doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Many students will lose their chance at a higher education due their drinking during these vital educational years. Up to eighty percent of students drink and about 1825 of those students can expect to lose their life in alcohol related deaths each year.

College students have to work hard to maintain good grades but after the books are closed for the evening they also have a tendency to play hard as well. Parties happen, it is an inevitable fact of college life. It is so very important to play safe.

Dorm living can be amazing but it can sometimes be a torturous mix of work and play. Always keep a few simple tips for staying sober at parties uppermost in your mind. Use these to help you restrict your consumption of alcohol and to help keep you safe.


It Can be a Balancing Act to be Social While Still Being Responsible

Social events are an important part of the college experience and most students participate. If you are invited to a party then the simple fact is that you are likely going to attend.

Many of these after class activities involve alcohol to some degree or another, and often alcohol is used as a means to feel more comfortable within this new setting, or to fit in with the group. When it all comes down to adding up the facts and figures it is your college education that is of the utmost importance. It really is vital to keep a fine balance between your work and play.

Alcohol can be one of the largest contributors in the mix. It can impair your judgment, keep you at the party long past when you should have left, and in the morning have you looking like one of the zombies from last years horror flick.

There are a Variety of Tasty Options to Alcohol


Dress up Your Non-Alcoholic Beverages

When attending house parties or partying at your dorm do not restrict yourself to only alcoholic drinks throughout the evening. You can have as much fun or more by staying sober enough to enjoy the evening. Try to include water, pop, or other non-alcoholic beverages into your evening party menu.

There are many ways to make these drinks seem more college party appropriate. You can add a splash of colorful juice to flavor your water if plain water just does not make the grade. Iced tea, pop, or juice poured over a stack of ice in a fancy wine glass can be very visually appealing. If your alternative drink still does not sound all that appetizing then there are a number of foods that you can add into your water, pop, or tea to turn it from bland to sensational.

1. Add a slice of lemon, orange, or lime.

2. Add in a herbal tea bag or prepare your own iced herbal tea the night before.

3. Keep mint or spearmint leaves on hand and add a couple into your drinks. This can be very visually appealing.

4. Flavor your beverage by adding in a couple of cherries, berries, or grapes.

5. Pop an edible flower into your beverage.

6. Don't restrict yourself to cold beverages. Sipping hot herbal tea or cocoa instead of alcohol can be a trend setter in a college setting.

Dressed up right non alcoholic beverages can be eye appealing enough to have others asking for the same. Be a trend setter.

College is a New Experience, New Program, Old You, New You?

​Keep Plenty of Bottled Water on Hand

Don't be intimidated by others into heavy drinking at social events. A party isn't much fun if you wind up with your head hung over a toilet bowl and the next day find yourself trying to remember all the embarrassing or potentially dangerous things that you may have done the night before.

Drinking bottled water is now an acceptable and stylish thing to do. When you are out at the local bar or drinking in any social situation feel free to drink a bottled water for every two or three of the other drinks that you consume.

The extra water will not only help you to stay sober but it will also flush the alcohol through your body and help to prevent your suffering from a hangover the next day. This means that you will be ready to hit the classroom and your books in relatively good shape in the morning compared to that of your fellow party goers who may be suffering a major headache the next day.

Drinking bottled water also has an economical added bonus to it as well. It is generally considerably less expensive to drink water than it is to consume alcohol. This means that you get to keep a few more of those valuable dollars in your pocket to spend in other more rewarding ways. A little further down the road you'll be happy you saved them.

An Alcohol Free Social Doesn't Have to be Boring

Have Difficulty Saying No? Use These Tips to Help You Stay Sober

1. Take a convenient bathroom break when shots are being passed around the room.

2. Pass your shot to a fellow party goer or friend. Someone else is usually only to happy to accept it.

3. Alternate your options. Consume one alcoholic drink followed by 2 or 3 non-alcoholic beverages. Drinking less over time will help you to retain your alertness throughout the evening.

4. Dilute your drink dramatically. A smaller amount of alcohol means you consume less alcohol so load it up with juice or soda.

5. Be the designated driver or "babysitter". It's a great way not to be talked into drinking just don't let it be a good excuse for others to go overboard.

6. Don't drink it. Just set it down on a nearby table and then intentionally forget to drink it.

7. On this same theme never ever leave a beverage that you intend to drink unattended. You never know what someone may decide to slip into it. Your number one goal in college is to stay safe so look out for yourself at all times.

8. Just say NO.

Limit the Amount and Type of Alcoholic Drinks You Choose

If you really must consume alcohol then restrict the amount that you consume. Limit yourself to one beer or other alcoholic beverage and then switch to a glass of flavored water, pop, or juice.

To reduce the amount of alcohol that you consume in a virtually unnoticeable manner dilute your drinks down with extra pop, water, or ice. It will look like you are drinking a lot while in realty you are actually consuming just enough alcohol to enjoy the evening.

Sip your drinks slowly rather than chugging them back. Avoid shots and shooters. These concentrated alcohol doses are intentionally designed to get you drunk quickly. Peer pressure should not have to make you partake of these.

College Tips From the Guys Who Have First Hand Experience

​Avoid the People and Situations That Encourage Heavy Drinking

College is a social setting with a wide variety of activities for students to participate in. There are many different ways to make the most of your experience there. You can still enjoy the companionship of other students while limiting the amount of alcohol that you consume.

  • Try to buddy up with fellow students with the same principals as yourself. Peer pressure can be a heavy weight in college so surrounding yourself with like minded friends can make a world of difference in your party experiences.

  • One person alone may have difficulty turning the opinion of the crowd, but two or three voices saying the same thing can make almost any behavior an acceptable norm. It really helps you to not be intimidated into drinking when you know you shouldn't.

  • Participate in clubs and activities that do not involve alcohol. There are many.

  • Drinking at college parties can be difficult to refuse. If you must get a glow on keep it limited and stay sober enough to not impair your judgment. Keep in mind that you may not be the best person to recognize exactly how much is too much.

It can be easy to have alcohol cloud your thinking. Don't allow alcohol to steal your college education away from you. Drink lightly, and have a safe, and rewarding year at college.

© 2017 Lorelei Cohen


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    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 weeks ago from Canada

      I so agree Stephan. It is a social issue that should be more openly discussed with students.

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 6 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Colleges should have mandatory classes on this stuff for freshmen. Even perhaps barring any underage student at any party serving alcohol.