How to be Teetotal as a Student

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You may be entirely teetotal, or you may be looking to cut down on your drinking, either way, here’s our guide on how to make the most of student life without the alcohol.

Why do some students not drink?

If you drink, you may not be aware of, or ‘get’ the reasons students don’t drink. There are plenty of reasons people choose not to drink, but in my experience, there are some common reasons students choose to stay away from alcohol:

Religious reasons – some religions teach against the consumption of alcohol, for a wide variety of reasons.

Trauma and addiction – some people may have experienced traumatic incidents surrounding alcohol, such as spiking or assault, or may have a loved one who has struggled with addiction, or may have struggled with addiction in the past themselves.

Simply don’t like it – some people just don’t like how alcohol tastes, or don’t like how it makes them feel.

Mental health – alcohol consumption reduces serotonin levels in your brain, so some students trying to look after their mental health may wish to avoid it.

Physical health –alcohol has a wide variety of impacts on physical health that they might wish to avoid, or students may be taking certain medications that you can’t mix with alcohol without experiencing bad side effects.

Really, you shouldn’t ask someone why they don’t drink alcohol. It may be personal information or a sensitive subject. If someone asks you, you are under no obligation to tell them. If you are genuinely interested, open up a respectful conversation with the person, and if they don’t wish to answer, respect their decision and move on.

Social Alternatives to the Student Nightlife

Being teetotal doesn’t have to impact your social life. Here are a few suggestions to make friends and keep social, if you wish to avoid the traditional student nightlife scene.

  • Join a society – This is a great way to make new friends and join weekly social events
  • Theatres – Go watch a movie, or a play
  • Coffee or brunch – Try out a new menu, or go for a sweet treat
  • Art galleries – There’s plenty to explore in Manchester
  • Museums – The Manchester Museum re-opens on the 18th February!
  • Sports clubs – This is another great way to meet new people and take up a new hobby
  • Picnics and parks – Explore the best nature spots around and pack a tasty picnic
  • Go shopping – Try on new clothes, go plant shopping, or visit a book shop
  • Art & Crafts – Join a club, or get some supplies and do it at home

That said, you can to still enjoy the nightlife without the alcohol – here’s how:

If you don’t drink alcohol, or want to limit your alcohol consumption, you can still enjoy the nightlife. Plenty of students go clubbing, or bar crawling, without the alcohol.

You don’t have to order any drinks at all, or you can order soft drinks, or mocktails.

The Student’s Union Bar, 532 Bar, offer a wide variety of alcohol-free alternatives. They offer a wide selection of alcohol-free spirits, 0% beers, and soft drinks. They also offer a wide range of mocktails and can make famous cocktails alcohol-free if you ask. The mocktails currently on offer are:

  • Espresso Martini
  • The Zombie
  • Sex on the Beach
  • Pornstar Martini
  • Blue Margarita
  • Caramel Apple
  • Gin Fizz

During Happy Hour (4pm-7pm Wednesday-Saturday) you can get 2 mocktails for £7.50.

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