For so many students, alcohol and university life just seem to go hand in hand. In fact, 79% of students agree that getting drunk is simply part of university culture. We’ve been through fresher’s week, refreshers week, and plenty of time on the dance floor of Ocean and Crisis throughout the year. We’ve lost count of the number of VKs and Jager bombs we’ve consumed and 3am McDonalds we’ve scoffed.
So, is it time for you to give your liver a bit of a breather? You may feel like this is unheard of while at university, but a recent study by the National Union of Students found that in fact, while 23% of students drink 2-3 days a week, 21% of students say that they don’t drink at all… so maybe going Teetotal for a while actually isn’t as difficult and antisocial as you might think.
We all know the effects alcohol has on our liver, cancer risk, and mental health, but it affects more than just our body: boozy nights out really take a hit on our weekly budgets, and it’s much harder to get up and concentrate in our 9am lectures when we’ve been drinking all night. With the massive costs of student fees, many students want to focus on getting a good grade and making the most out of the learning time we have. With lecture strikes, we really don’t need to miss even more contact time with lecturers just because we are feeling hungover.
But of course, even if this is when coursework is piling up and exams are looming, we still want to socialise and have fun. Well, here are some tips to get a better balance between studying and shots….
1. Swap the double for a single: it’s so easy just to get a single vodka coke instead of the double: you can still have a drink in your hand and it’s cheaper as well!
2. Join non-alcohol related societies: there is literally something every night of the week that doesn’t involve alcohol! Try out baking, tea society, film society, or any sport using the engage scheme in Nottingham: these are great ways to still be social and make new friends without having to hit up a club.
3. Drink water in between each drink: alternating between water and alcohol will ease your hangover the next day, so you might be better able to still concentrate and get uni work done.
4. Make use of mixers: mix white wine with lemonade to make a spritzer, or beer and lemonade to get a shandy, and you’ve already halved your alcohol intake in one glass.
5. Try cool alternatives: switch up cocktails for mocktails, gin and tonic for soda water and lime, and Carlsberg for a non-alcoholic beer – you may discover you prefer some of these drinks anyway!
6. Coffee is your best friend: if you are heading out for a long night out, maybe have a really large cup of coffee before you head to pres: this caffeine boost gives you the energy to get you moving on the dancefloor and keep on going until the bouncers kick you out…