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Let’s talk about university drinking culture …

Erin Field discusses drinking culture in university – and how to handle questions on not drinking …

Party tonight! But do I have to drink?

Imagine this: you walk into a club at university and look around to find everyone with a drink in their hand. You stop and ask yourself: does this mean I have to go and buy a drink as well?

To answer your question, NO!  

Many fear going out at university as drinking has been stigmatised to be essential to have fun on a night out. But this is not the case! Let’s talk about drinking culture in university and how to handle questions on not drinking.

Drinking isn’t necessary!

Not drinking is actually a lot more normal than some people expect. Whether you don’t drink for personal reasons, religious or medical reasons or simply because you don’t like alcohol itself, I’m here to let you know that it is completely okay. It is possible to enjoy partying or other social events without a single drop of vodka in you!

Not why don’t you, but why do you?

To understand why people question why someone may not drink, you have to understand why people do drink at university.

For many in their first year at uni, it is the first experience of living away from home and stepping into a new sense of freedom. Many choose to explore just how far this freedom stretches, including partying more often than when at home. So, more partying usually follows with more alcohol.

This is just one explanation for drinking, but it helps us understand why some may assume the majority of us drink at university.

What to do if someone questions you on not drinking

Firstly, I want to emphasise that it is okay to not drink. Don’t let anyone make you believe it isn’t! If someone questions you on why you choose to not drink, here are some responses you could use …

  1. I don’t really like the taste of it.
  2. Drinking just isn’t something I enjoy the feeling of
  3. I prefer my nights sober!

Of course, you will have your own individual reasons behind not drinking, but if you do not feel comfortable talking about it, then these are just some things to say instead.

So, keep this in mind when thinking about drinking culture at university. Remember, it is completely okay to not want to drink and you definitely can enjoy a night out sober!

Article written by Erin Field.

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