So it is quite apparent that in modern, particular British, culture there is a significant part that alcohol plays in society. I’m just generalising here but we start secretly drinking as teenagers at house parties or in parks, we go on nights out to clubs, we drink in pubs with family and friends, even for dating the question of “do you wanna go for a drink sometime?” has been asked to me multiple times in the whole 2ish years since I’ve been legal to drink. And this reliance on alcohol being involved in socialising can be quite difficult for those of us who have an issue with it or don’t want to drink quite as much as others.

Whether you’re just not a big drinker, teetotal/straight edge or in the process of sobriety it can exhausting and frustrating to accept that this is the norm. Constantly getting asked why you don’t want a drink or being seen as “less fun” is an entirely damaging ideology from others that could lead to people crumbling under the pressure from others to get involved in an activity that they don’t want to be part of. I know that I’ve felt that way at least.

Especially since being at university, where freshers is just full of house parties and club nights out, the socials are pub quizzes or pub crawls. And i want to socialise and meet people. But I don’t like drinking alcohol that much or the million questions that come with it.

There’s so many reasons why people have a personal opinion on things that others get addicted to, whether its gambling or illegal substances or alcohol. I don’t want to go into a lengthy discussion with a stranger about my personal mental struggle with alcohol based on experiences I’ve seen from family members thank you very much. I’m sure even my friends might not wanna talk about it because it’s just uncomfortable conversation for everyone involved.

Instead encourage but don’t patronise those who would rather have water in a club or J2O in spoons, support your friends for their decisions just like you would if they wore an outfit that you wouldn’t wear yourself but get why its their style or if someone was vegetarian or vegan. We each have our own reasons behind the decisions and lifestyle choices we make, sometimes you don’t want an interrogation for it.

Maybe have honest conversations about those around you about their opinions on alcohol whether they drink or not, you may be surprised at the answers and discussions you get once opening up. You might found people around you feel the same or that they don’t but you can try to see it from their point of view anyway.

Sometimes suggest alternative ways to socialise without alcohol, get creative people! and i’d honestly take a tango ice blast over a pitcher any day of the week.

I’ll never be a big fan of predrinking (maybe bc I’m a lightweight too) and I don’t always get drunk at house parties and I will say no to most nights out because it makes me uncomfortable and that’s fine. But I’m also more than happy to join my friends at spoons daydrinking over a catch up or drink in an indie club so i feel confident enough to dance without feeling judged. I can change how I feel depending on the situation or the people I’m with which is totally allowed. However if you never wanna touch a drop of alcohol in your life fair do’s.

To those of you who have just started uni or at the legal age of purchasing alcohol then please be aware of the limits (legal and personal) as well as possible dangers because at the end of the day alcohol is a depressant which lowers your inhibitions and cognitive skills. Stay safe kids xxx

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