I think it takes quite a lot of courage for a student to admit that they’re bored of boozing. I’m one of them. I like a sociable drink, but once upon a time I took it a bit far and got myself into stupid situations because I had drunk too much. As a student, it’s pretty much a stereotype that we all love to drink, and one that many abide by, but I, along with a lot of others are just not into that over the top drinking culture that so many students are associated with.
First year for me was a crazy blur of Fresher’s nights, exploring the night life of a brand new city and making lots of new friends, generally in the confides of a night club. Second year was a lot more tame, I still enjoyed going out, but I started to buckle down, I had a blog to run and a society to lead and it was a lot of hard work. However it wasn’t until the end of that year that I realised… I had completely gone off alcohol.
My hangovers were awful, the recovery day afterwards meant I was incapable of even moving let alone doing any work, and my skin and diet were in terrible condition. It was making me put on weight, my skin was breaking out and my sleep pattern wasn’t healthy.
And then I went home for the summer, and although I was faced with London’s amazing clubs, the best of the British festivals (Glasto I miss you!) and a number of different gatherings and events, I felt TOTALLY in control of my drinking and nowhere near as pressurised by the student culture.
It soon began to dawn on me that a.) I wasn’t a good drunk, b.) I was an even worse hangover patient and c.) I needed to learn how to drink socially before I get into a work social situation and totally embarrass myself.
Coming back to university for my final year I made a promise to myself, to stop feeling so pressured to get absolutely wasted. I’m overly conscious of a more healthy lifestyle that i want to lead, and alcohol doesn’t exactly make me feel the next day. And with a dissertation dawning on me and the sudden realisation that this is my final chance to actually make the most of my £9k a year degree, is it really worth it?
I think what worried me the most was the fact that I was scared people would judge me for not being crazy about clubbing. If my friends were planning a night out and I really wasn’t keen on going, I’d literally have a panic attack at the thought of telling them I just didn’t fancy it. What if they think I’m boring? I’d ask myself.
When really when I took a step back from the situation I realised, there’s so much more to me than whether I like to get drunk and go clubbing. And there’s a lot of people out there who are in the same situation as myself. Just take my two housemates at university now. They both went through that OTT, crazy party lifestyle a couple of years ago and are now more content in drinking in a more sociable situation like a pub or bar, instead of binging as much as they could and become utterly incapable of functioning.
I just felt I should write this because as the President of JOMEC society, I saw more and more Fresher’s turning up to our first social, and at the Societies Fayre actually not being interested in the clubbing and drinking lifestyle and that’s OKAY. It’s okay to not want to do it, and there is so much night life in Cardiff including amazing bars and live music that caters to EVERYONE.
And as for myself? I’m still going to drink alcohol, but not in the way that I felt I needed to before. I’m going to limit myself, stick to drinks that I know are OK for me and of course have fun without the need to please that stereotype!
I’d love to hear your stories!!