Sober students aren't boring, we just need better events
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A recent National Union of Students survey has found that students are drinking far less alcohol on average, and universities really need to start catering to sobriety better. With Fresher's Week finally over at the majority of UK universities, a week that is dominated by drinking games, clubbing and hangovers has been brought to a halt by the reality of our tight student loans and the need for a good degree. However, despite the stereotype of university being a blur of drunken memories, a recent study by the NUS has shown that students are drinking less alcohol, with 21% of students being completely alcohol-free. This change in behaviour brings with it a huge demand for more diversity within social activities both during Freshers' Week and beyond. Other than a few welcome week lectures and the Freshers' Fair, universities tend to leave the daytime completely free during Fresher's Week in order for students to recover from the night before. Indeed, university culture and drinking culture have become so closely intertwined that it can often feel like it is impossible to be part of one and not the other, and this simply needs to change. Classifying a good night as one where you end up in hospital is a wildly unhealthy norm, even for those that enjoy drinking alcohol. Ultimately, the whole tradition needs to be toned down so that it is no longer promoting an extreme lifestyle of binge drinking which could potentially lead to addiction. Personally, I've just finished my second Fresher's Week sober. Before university I had never drunk a drop of alcohol in my life; I didn't know what a VK was, and ring of fire seemed like a terrifying ritual from the dark ages. Last year I contacted my university asking if there were any non-alcohol focused events that I could go to and all they could offer me was a tea and coffee gathering or a pub quiz. Unsurprisingly, I ended up barely leaving my room. I had nothing to do, no one to do it with, and no idea where anything in this new city was.
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