The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Think before you drink

Lifestyle contributor Cachella Smith talks about being sober at university — and why she still enjoys a great night out, without alcohol

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It’s Tuesday night, you’re suffering through a dodgy 90s night at Fifth while everyone else seems to be loving the cringe tunes and sticky dancefloor. Awkwardly shuffling in a circle of people you’ve never before seen in your life, you think to yourself: perhaps more alcohol will help?

University is inextricably linked with alcohol. The two come together, it’s natural. But is there a way to survive your three year course without a single beverage? There’s nothing wrong with drinking alcohol as a means of relaxation or enjoyment, however there seems to be an increasing number of students who feel pressurised to drink. Not even necessarily by someone else — often the pressure stems from within.

It’s true that clubs can be difficult places to be in for many people. At the best of times I dislike having to dance and sing; not to mention having to deal with some shameless flirtation! Often, a double vodka seems like the easiest solution. This said, I’ve now got to a position where I am comfortable with who I am. If people want to be friends with me, they can be friends with me — horrific dance moves included, and if not, hey it’s not my problem.

It seems like a waste of time to mention many of the health benefits of abstaining from alcohol to students who most likely are currently living off of a diet of fried chicken and Dairy Milk chocolate. However, two benefits that you may find relevant are weight loss and clearer skin. These are two massive problems that I know a lot of young adults struggle with. If you’re someone who does, perhaps consider having a few nights off of alcohol per week and see if it helps?

I think the most important thing to stress is moderation. There is nothing wrong with a couple of drinks when you want. Alcohol shouldn’t, however, be synonymous with a night out. Whatever benefits I have discussed so far, it does seem a bit of a shame that the nights students’ consider to be their best at University are often those that they struggle to remember in the morning.