Not all university students drink alcohol

Medical student Olivia Craig-McFeely explains why students don’t need to drink and that there are plenty of other ways to have fun 

December 14 2017
why you don't need to drink as a student

Every year, more and more students choose not to drink alcohol, bucking the stereotype that students spend most of their time drinking.

I personally do not see the point of alcohol. It doesn’t taste very good, in my opinion, and nothing good comes from it. Moreover, it’s very expensive to spend money on drinks as a student.

At university, I have found that as long as you join in and make an effort to participate in social events, it doesn’t really matter if you drink alcohol or not. My friends and I often go out for meals instead, and we love to go out for curries. In Tooting in South London, where we live, there are some of the best in the country.

Also, we’ll get together to watch films in our halls and eat snacks, which is equally as fun.

At St George’s during freshers’ fortnight, there’s a vast array of different events that students can get involved in that don’t always involve drinking. There’s no pressure to go out to drinking events because there are so many options that you can find something that suits you.


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Some people understand why I choose not to drink and respect my decision, but there are others who just don’t.

I met many of my friends through taster events for societies at university, and I am a member of a number of societies including fencing, music and stagecraft.

I’ve found that people are usually very inclusive, and if they aren’t then perhaps it might be best to avoid them. 

I've actually met quite a few teetotal students, and you’ll likely to find at least one in each society, so you won’t feel isolated.

At the end of the day, it’s all about getting involved and making an effort with people. That’s what most people care about, not whether you drink alcohol or not.

My advice for those who don’t want to drink is to try out as many activities as you can, even if you don’t end up joining that particular society. You might walk away with some new friends.

Remember that it is OK to say “no” if someone offers you an alcoholic drink. Ultimately, that choice is for you alone to make. 

Medical student Olivia Craig-McFeely is studying at St George’s, University of London.

Read more: A day in the life of a university student in the UK

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