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Not Drinking At University

Updated on August 15, 2015

Being at university has opened my eyes to the world of alcohol. I’m not much of a drinker; actually I do not drink at all. And usually I am asked “why”. Now I’m the confused one. “WHY?” Why is it that if someone chooses not to drink it is usually one of the following reasons: religious, medicinal or just general health conditions. What’s annoying is that in my case, the opposing person is correct in assuming that one of the above is the answer. I do not drink because I am not supposed to. And you can see the look in their face, when you have confirmed and reinforced what’s already in their minds: nobody chooses not to drink of their own accord. There must be some underlying reason (religion) or condition which stops people from delving into the magical world of alcohol. This is not true however; at least I’m sure it isn’t. I only know one other person on my course (wait sorry two) that do not drink because they just do not like it. They’re both Chinese, not sure if that’s relevant or not. Anyway I know them quite well, and I’m sure there are more people on the course that choose not to drink, but I just don’t know them. There are over 300 people. And it's not a secret that we have quite a reputation when it comes to drinking in the UK. Not drinking at university is definitely not the norm.


I often feel I have to apologise as well. So if someone offers me a drink I have the need to say 'sorry, I don't drink'. Not sure what I'm apologising for. Perhaps I'm sorry that I'm breaking a social norm and rejecting what is obviously a well coveted offering: free alcohol.

Drinking games become awkward to participate in as well. There was one instance, where the whole of my course went out for a meal. We were spread across three different restaurants as we're quite a big cohort. Anyway, whilst we sat down to eat, people would gladly throw a coin into someone else's drink and that person would have to down the contents. You needed to be a skilled aimer and an equally good defender to really enjoy the game. One guy came up with a brilliant idea to include us non drinkers. Since we were having curry, and there were several on the table. If someone threw a coin into the curry, a non drinker would have to down the curry. Needless to the say, that did not happen because A. I'm not drunk enough to think that's a good idea (he was) and B. I'm not stupid and C. it was really bad curry

That brings me to another point. Is alcohol for boring people? As students we go out and get drunk in the process, Happy Times. How about going out sober? WHAT?!? I can imagine a chorus of people going “why would we do that?”, whilst others stare with confusion. I am led to believe that alcohol generates fun. I’ve been on student nights out and have been sober. There was that one night which I’d file that memory into the “wow that was a waste of time” folder in my brain. I think in that particular situation you had to be drunk to enjoy the scene. The highlight of the night was eating chicken wings at the shop next door.

Key words

Not drinking at university, not drinking alcohol, college drinking


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