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Articles > Student Life February, 15, 2022

Some of the many reasons I’m a student who doesn’t drink…

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Having spent four years of my life studying an integrated master’s degree, surrounded by fellow students, I often get asked, “So, why don’t you drink?”.

With four years of undergraduate study behind me and three and a half years of postgraduate study ahead of me, that question shows no sign of fading away. So, I thought it is about time I outlined some of the many reasons I choose to steer clear of alcohol.

When people ask me the aforementioned question, I sometimes find it difficult to answer.

Not because I don’t have an answer but because I have too many answers and it is hard to know exactly where to start. Some students even seem to find the idea of a sober student almost offensive. These are usually the people that view university as just an excuse to party far from the supervision of their parents for three years. I never viewed university in that way. University is way to learn more about a subject that truly fascinates you. I feel in this day and age many students truly waste that opportunity. It is okay if people want to drink, but my personal choice is to avoid it.

I think it is best to start this off with an anecdote from my first month at university. Story time…

At the wrong side of 4 am I rose from my bad to journey to the toilet. On my way I heard a faint whimpering voice from the kitchen. When I went to investigate, I discovered two strangers who had presumably been guests at my flatmates party that had occurred earlier that night. A party I had purposefully avoided, preferring the comfort of solitude and video games.

One man was crouched on the floor looking at a puddle of his own vomit repeating the words, “help me” in a defeated tone. The other was lying on the couch staring blankly at the TV. If the second man was aware or concerned for his broken friend, he did not show it. I looked at this mess of a human being and I knew I had made the right choice to avoid alcohol. Preferring to avoid a similar fate, I refuse to ever end up like him.

While this experience did validate my desire to remain sober perpetually, it is not the only reason why I live my life the way I do.

The very idea of purposely ingesting something that reduces your ability to function mentally and physically seems insane to me. People do things they regret when they are drunk. I do enough stupid things while sober, I do not need to add more of that to my life. I think a lot of people fail to appreciate the joy of having clear thoughts and a sense of purpose.

People under the affects of alcohol, to some extent, loose the ability to be responsible for there own actions. I could never allow that to happen to me. Being responsible for your own mistakes is what separates us from the children we were not so long ago.

Hangovers?! Who needs them

This well establish phenomenon known as a hangover – why would anyone want that?! I hate headaches to the point where I lack sufficient vocabulary to truly convey how much they irritate me. Why anyone would intentionally induce a headache to afflict them the following morning by drinking alcohol is truly beyond me.

Many view my avoidance of all alcoholic liquids as a compromise of freedom. I could argue the opposite. After all, at an age where the world practically demands you to pound beers like its life sustaining, what is a greater expression of freedom than refusing the conform to other peoples’ expectations. A true act of rebellion against a world that expects you to behave irresponsibly.

Above is a condensed outline of some of the many reasons I don’t drink. You may agree or disagree with what is said that is your choice to make. For those starting university, that see wisdom in my words I have one last piece of advice for you. Do not allow the expectations of others to control how you live your life. Your life is your own, no-one else’s.

What do you think about university drinking culture? Have you ever felt pressured to go along with the crowd? We’d love to hear your thoughts, let us know in the comments below!

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