From my late teens to my early twenties, I have never really been a big drinker; in fact, when I got to the age of nineteen I began to hardly drink at all. I’d always be the kind of person to have one drink on a night out just to ‘be socialable’, but in all honesty, I truly hated every moment.
Being at university, especially one like Loughborough where the social scene is such a fundamental aspect of student life, I often wondered how well I’d fit in. Even though I may not be the first person to crack open a bottle of wine I do enjoy socialising, going out and enjoying myself, which I’m often asked how I can do when I have so many drunk people surrounding me.
Well, here’s my response – you learn to block it out. I have never been affected by people who drink, I have no problem with people drinking and it’s quite nice to not have to suffer the next day. The only reason I’ve never taken to the drinking scene is because I have never liked it. Just like you may not like Coca Cola or may dislike Dr. Pepper, I can’t take to alcohol, and that doesn’t make me strange, it just makes me human.
Coming from the perspective of someone who has been constantly pressured into getting leathered I can honestly say that on venturing to university I have never been more comfortable with being myself. Despite the stereotypes of students and drinking, I’ve made many friends who willingly accept my choices, and never force me into doing things that unnerve me.
I realise in writing this article that there may be a small minority that stand in the same position as me, but knowing what it’s like to suffer from the constraints of not drinking, I thought it was worth speaking about. People decide not to drink for various reasons, whether it be linked to religion, health issues or personal choice. But when you’re a non-drinker, the worst thing that you have to tackle is the constant pressure and questioning around you, with the majority of young people finding it a difficult concept to grasp.
By no means would I ever encourage anyone not to drink. After all, we’re young and deserve to enjoy ourselves. What I would like to say is that if you ever meet someone who doesn’t drink, do not try and force them into drinking.
It may not seem cool or it may not seem normal to you, but some people really don’t like getting smashed, and from past experience, I’m sure you’ll be very grateful to find a sober friend kind enough to help carry you home at the end of the night. See, us non-drinkers are not all that bad really!