Navigating Freshers As A Non-Drinker
riotous drinking party in public bar

Navigating Freshers As A Non-Drinker

Jasmyne Jeffery September 10, 2022

It can seem like most exciting freshers‘ events revolve around alcohol, which definitely isn’t for everyone. Particularly if you don’t drink. It can create a real sense of FOMO, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any events for you.

Heading to university as someone who isn’t a drinker is a tad daunting. I thought that I would be the only one and be a social pariah, spending all my evenings alone while others went to all the pubs and clubs. Although I was looking forward to university, that single thought was always at the back of my mind.

The reality of it

Of course, there are lots of events that take place at clubs. Lots of the freebies are alcohol-related, or free tickets to bars and things, and halls are filled with getting-to-know parties. In reality, the majority of students enjoy drinking and socialising, so lots of freshers’ events are tailored towards that.

It’s not surprising, but it can be disheartening when that’s not what you enjoy.

However, what I also discovered was that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t want to drink. In fact, there were only eight people in my class, and I found people on the first day who felt the same way I did. While LOTS of events were about drinking, there were plenty for those who didn’t either.

There was freshers fair, pizza evenings, cinema trips and more. You could sign up for anything you wanted without any obligation to do anything else. There was a lot more I expected from freshers as a non-drinker.

Close up of two friends shopping while traveling and exploring through the city

The FOMO problem

Although there were lots of things for me to get involved in, that hasn’t ever stopped that feeling of missing out. It doesn’t ever make me want to go out drinking or partying, but I still sometimes think I’m missing out on something. However, at uni, you’ll gravitate towards people who are like you anyway. And, if they still like a drink, they’ll make time for other activities too.

If you think there aren’t enough freshers events as a non-drinker, make some! Even if it’s just a shopping trip with your housemates or classmates, you should get to do the things you enjoy. The more you get to do, the more you won’t think about the stuff you’re not doing.

I can’t promise that you won’t feel like you’re missing out a little, but there will be plenty of freshers’ events for you too. Just because you don’t drink, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.

Have something to tell us about this article?
Let us know
Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.