Goodbye glorious, delicious wine – Just for one month though!
This week’s celeb is our very own Lauren Murphy! She’s recently undergone Macmillan’s Sober October challenge, and we caught up with her (not over a glass of vino!) to find out more about her experience, as well as the programme itself.
HC: There are a lot of different sponsorship programmes for charity these days- what made you choose Sober October?
LM: I chose the Macmillan charity because the illness of cancer is something close to my heart and in my family. I wanted to do something different and support a charity that actually supports the people that suffer from cancer. Macmillan are great with helping people right from their diagnosis and throughout their treatment. The people that actually lend a helping hand in these situations are the heroes, giving up their time to help others when they’re in pain – there isn’t anything better! After this I will help smaller charities but this charity really knows how to get the word out there. So, I decided to start off with one of the big charities – but one that runs a support network instead of research. People often say the smaller charities get ignored. However, to get people to lend a hand and help people with this illness you have got to get the word out and fight for people’s attention. So yeah I think this charity is very good at that and hopefully will get more people involved!
HC: Did your feel any health benefits after starting?
LM: I didn’t suffer the hangovers anymore? Haha, seriously though I actually had more days in my life! I always waste the day away after having a few drinks with friends – even if we’re not going out to get totally bungalowed I always feel fatigued the next day. So, yeah, it was nice not having that! Also, it really helped with 4th year as I actually have more time and motivation to do actual work. I’ve been out once since completing the challenge and REALLY felt it, so I’m going to keep the nights out to a minimum now – both for that reason and for my studies!
I also joined the gym whilst doing the challenge and I have so much more energy now! It’s great. I know some people don’t think it’s hard to give up drinking for a month but when all your mates are students as well – it kind of is. Also why is everyone’s birthday in October??
HC: Good plan! We could all use a study focus this year *ahem*. What was your favourite part of it overall?
LM: Getting the donations – it is such a good feeling when someone has sponsored you. Also, seeing everyone’s disgust when they found out I wasn’t drinking for a month. They looked at me like I was mental – it honestly wasn’t that bad! Also going to house parties sober is hilarious – you see the stage from tipsy to hammered and it’s hysterical. Except maybe when they’re that drunk that they are spitting on your face rather than talking, but it is so funny. The next day they’ll be getting up doing uni work whilst hanging and wanting sympathy and you can feel smug. Also it was great as I remembered everything whereas they didn’t —mwahahaha. I have all the stories now!
HC: Haha, anyone who partied with Lauren last month be warned! And what was your least favourite part?
LM: Having to sit at a bar with friends sipping on a Diet Coke. Especially, if I was meeting up with just one friend – I felt so awkward not drinking which is weird right? But so did they! They may have had one but when they finished their drink and I’d only had 3 sips of mine they will go for a Diet Coke for their next as they felt awkward drinking with me. Which if you think about it that’s mad, but everyone feels like that if they meet me one on one. It could also make me feel uncomfortable, but then again it saved them money and a hangover too! Also when I had the ‘Friday feeling’ after a hard week of essay writing – that one glass of vino reward wasn’t an option.
HC: Would you recommend it to others?
LM: Of course! Yes sometimes it may be awkward and yes if you are a glass-of-wine-after-a-hard-day-of-work kind of person you will find it difficult. But if you’re like me and only socially drink then it really isn’t that hard. You’ll be tempted, but you’ll feel great for saying no. I’d definitely recommend it to 4th years especially as it’s an excuse to push your university work which is great! Plus, even if you only get sponsored ten pounds you have raised that ten pounds for people who really need help and support with cancer – that sacrifice is little in comparison. So I’d say honestly just do it – especially if you’re not a marathon kind of person!
By the start of November, Lauren had raised a fantastic £370 – big HC congrats! And luckily there’s still time to donate now she’s completed the challenge, as Macmillan will accept funds up until the end of November. Well done to Lauren and everyone else who took part in Sober October. If you want to donate to Lauren or just find out more about the cause, you can check it out here: https://www.gosober.org.uk/profile/laurenmurphy