01/12/2021

University Life and Alcohol: Do I Need to Drink to Fit In?

Worried about your university social life as a non-drinker? Don’t be…here’s a guide to staying sober when socialising!

Life at university and going to parties seem to go hand-in-hand, but do you need to drink alcohol to make friends? The short answer to this is…absolutely not! There is nothing to say that you have to drink in order to fit in and enjoy a healthy social life. Plenty of people choose to be alcohol free (or limit their alcohol intake) for health reasons.

University life can be whatever you make it, and it doesn’t have to include alcohol. The University of Bolton’s friendly and supportive campus welcomes people of all backgrounds and religions, and we have an inclusive community where everyone has a chance to fit in. In fact, we’ve ranked 1st in the North West and in the Top 5 across England and Wales for Social Inclusion* for the second year running.

Not a big drinker? Not to worry. Here are some tips for fitting in:

Don’t avoid social occasions

It can be easy to stay at home and avoid parties and social events when you’re worried about alcohol. But getting out and about is important for helping you make friends. It’s also healthy to take a break from your studies, so socialising is definitely worth your time.

All bars in Bolton serve soft drinks, and some even serve non-alcohol ‘mocktails’, which can make socialising just as fun for non-drinkers. Most supermarkets now offer zero alcohol wine and beer, so you can get involved without being inebriated!

Be ready to talk about it

If there’s a reason you avoid drink (such as an allergy or because of your religion), remember to be open and don’t hide it. By talking about why you can’t have alcohol, you can help your friends understand you better, and make university life easier.

Even if you are just making a life choice because you don’t like the effects of alcohol on your body, just say. You may be surprised at how understanding people are. You can also suggest non-drinking activities to do with friends to make sure you get the most from your university social life.

Join a club or society

If you’re scared about making friends as a non-drinker, there are so many other ways you can boost the quality of your university social life. At the University of Bolton, we have a number of societies you can join and enjoy.

 

Whether you’re into sports, music, salsa or chess, there’s something for everyone. Or if you want the ‘feel good’ factor as well as a way to meet new people, why not find out more about our volunteering opportunities?

Avoid friends who pressure you to drink

There’s nothing worse than being pushed into drinking when you don’t drink. If a friend is trying to coerce you into having alcohol, calmly explain to them that the pressure isn’t fair and is making you uncomfortable. If you communicate your feelings well, a good friend should be able to understand your needs.

Surround yourself with friends who look out for you, and don’t let peer pressure grind you down. In the grand scheme of things, alcohol is not an important part of university life. So don’t forget the bigger goal of staying healthy and happy, whatever your choices may be.

We hope you find our guide on navigating your university social life as a non-drinker useful! As a leading Greater Manchester university with an award-winning Student Services Team, there’s nowhere better to study. If you need any support (including with your mental health and wellbeing), our Student Services Team is here to help.

To find out more about applying for undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in 2022, see our available courses.

*The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide - 2022, 2021

 

Related articles

myBolton

Download the app for your smartphone from:

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA Scheme Participant

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA Scheme Participant