Don’t worry about going to uni if you don’t drink - getting blackout drunk every other night isn’t the be-all and end-all of university life, and you’ll be surprised how many non-drinkers are out there! Here are ten ways to enrich your uni life without drinking, as well as finding like-minded people along the way.
1. Join a Society
Sure, people who drink go to societies too, but the majority host regular non-drinking activities, and it’s usually required that they have an Inclusions Officer who’ll make sure socials are welcoming for those who skip the alcohol. So whether it’s art, cookery, video-gaming or even Quidditch, get yourself down to the Activities Fair during Freshers’ week. Engaging in something you love or picking up a new skill is not the only thing societies offer: doing so surrounded by people with the same taste in activities will find you friends for life. If you're in a great society for non-drinkers, don't forget to let others know by leaving a review here.
2. Social Sports
Don’t let the stereotypes of uni sporting culture put you off as a non-drinker - at uni you can do many low-key, fun sports that you’ve probably never even heard of (Korfball, anyone?) Many of the sports activities also host social meet-ups whereby it’s not about skill, but more like a kick-about with mates. What’s not to love? A social event that you’ll remember in the morning, and will leave you feeling good!
3. Pick Up a (Non-Uni) Book
Reading doesn’t have to just be a panicked skim for the next day’s seminar. It can be a great way to wind down and relax, as well as making you think more deeply about life’s great questions. So whilst your flatmates are on their tenth shot, you’ll be on your tenth chapter, comfortable, peaceful, and all the wiser.
4. Get Creative
Many people, as they get older, get caught up in adult life and lose the creativity they had as a kid. So why not go and pick up an adult colouring book? Or take a camera out for a spin? It’s never too late to let your artistic side shine, and your uni is bound to have a society for every sort of creative field if you don’t want to go at it alone.
5. Host a Movie Night
It’s a guaranteed win, even for your drinker pals - they too will need a night off every now and again. Everyone loves the guy who hosts the party, so grab some snacks, non-hangover inducing drinks (who doesn’t love a good cold can of pop anyway?) blankets, and a movie that everyone loves. A sociable, alcohol-free event to enjoy with your flatmates/ course mates/ society mates - NOBODY is too good for sleepover-style fun. Not even the drinkers.
6. Take up an Instrument
Whilst everyone else is out wasting money and waking up half dead, you can be learning a new skill that’s good for your brain and entertaining for others. It’s another non-drinking activity that will bag you loads of friends, as everyone loves a good sing-along. Always wanted to learn the guitar? Pick up a second-hand one from a charity shop and get playing - the internet is the perfect place to self-teach, so you won’t have to fork out for lessons. You may even find a talent you never knew you had…
7. Get Cooking
Uni is your chance to try your hand at more than just boiling an egg. Buy yourself a fancy recipe book and see what you can conjure up - you’ll soon be experimenting with all sorts of weird and wonderful ingredients, thinking you’re the next Gordon Ramsay. And when your flatmates wind you up for not coming out, this will give you the perfect excuse to call them all Panini Heads or Idiot Sandwiches. Why not host a dinner party whilst you’re at it, so they can line their stomachs with your five-star cuisine?
8. Dog Walking
Doggos. ALL THE DOGGOS. Get PAID to spend time with doggos. All it takes is a simple ad online, and you’ll have the whole neighbourhood hitting you up asking you to spend time with their good boys.
9. Work or Volunteer
Not only is this a great way to fill your free time and maybe even earn a bit of extra cash, you’ll meet new people outside of your uni bubble and learn new skills along the way. And trust us when we say it’ll be a great asset for when you leave uni. Find something you’re passionate about, and go for it - there’s a whole wealth of things out there, from ocean cleanups if you’re angry about plastic to working in a clothes shop if you’re a fashionista. Your uni careers service will be able to help you find something suitable.
All that money you save from not drinking means you’ll have sufficient funds to go and see the world, and when booked at the right time, flights around Europe can come at as little as 20 quid. Reading weeks, weekends, vacations, fill up that time with travel - it really does broaden the mind, and you’ll be the envy of all your drinker mates who can barely afford food due to their antics, let alone a weekend hop to Budapest!