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What It’s Like Being Sober at Uni– My Two Months Alcohol-Free

We all know student culture is pretty alcohol orientated, so when your body decides to start shutting down from all the binge drinking, what do you do? When my kidneys started to hurt after a night out I decided a well-earned rest was due and took two months and two days off.

The first thing I noticed was how little sleep I need to function. Before I would be out twice a week and I was just constantly catching up on the lost hours. I’d sleep for two-three hours after Crisis before going to my 9am fuelled by caffeine and sugar. That night I’d get about 10 hours after crashing way before midnight but wake up still feeling groggy and unable to face the other side of my bedroom door. Not drinking meant I didn’t go out as much, and left clubs earlier. I was sleeping 6-7 hours a night and thriving. The thought of getting up early to do some extra work before my 9am suddenly didn’t make me want to drop out of uni. I was happier, more motivated, and probably much easier to be around (but you’ll have to check with my housemates on that one). The biggest surprise of them all though was when I managed to get my coursework in a day early – there’s a first for everything.


So you’ve heard all the positives so far. Now for some not-so-positives. Like I said, drinking is a huge part of uni culture. Upon explaining why I couldn’t down a dirty pint I would be met with either laughter or confused silence. And that was at the start of the night. By the end people would be telling me ‘I’m bored’, even if I wasn’t and explained I wasn’t, and telling me I’m boring. My concern for my kidneys was not echoed by my drunken friends. One night a couple of people cornered me and tried to force feed me alcohol. At the start of the two months I tried to go out with my friends as much as possible but Ocean just isn’t the same when you actually notice the state of the toilets/ the people around you. So yeah, not drinking is great for your grades but not great for your social life.


Despite the arseholes I realised I was friends with, others were supportive and even encouraged my not drinking. My housemates were great about it, which led to me setting the 61 day challenge. My family couldn’t believe I’d actually managed it. My bank account was probably happier than me about my decision. And I still saw all of my friends. I’d just go to pre-drinks then leave them to stumble off to their club of choice.  I’d 100% do it again, and highly recommend, even if you don’t have potential kidney/ liver failure.

Edited by Katie Randall

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