Just in case you were wondering before you come to University, no, not everyone goes out every night and gets drunk! It might seem that way from social media, depictions in films or hearing people talk, but if you think about it; at home that doesn’t happen so why would it at University?
It might seem a bit like that in Fresher’s week because there is more of a ‘going out culture’ with events going on throughout the week, but you might be able to find some non-drinking ones like a quiz, movie night or talk instead. Recently, there has been more of a drive and push for non-alcoholic events and socials to be more inclusive of everyone: from different cultures, beliefs, personal choices and backgrounds.
I don’t drink, and before coming to Uni, that definitely felt as if I was in the minority, but since being here for five months, it could not be further from the truth. They say that you gravitate towards like-minded people; with your personality, interests and just general ethos, it happens naturally. I’m not going to go into finding friends for life or creating bonds with people, as that is not the main aim of this blog but you get the gist.
Now, into the fun bit. Some ideas for things you can do that are still super fun but don’t involve drinking. You can gather some flatmates together, join a society or find people from your course; they are great ways of getting to know each other as well; which is what everyone wants to do in their first few weeks at Uni as you find your feet…
- A Games night – play cards, or take a game along, Heads Up is great if all you have is your phone.
- Cook dinner together – an amazing way to learn about each other’s cultures, traditions and lives, and you’ll be able to eat together too – a meal shared is always a good one.
- Movie night – I’ve been lucky enough to make a lovely group of friends, and flatmates too who’s room’s I hang out in and share a movie night with.
- Join a society! – What a great way to meet new people and spend your evenings. I have joined two main societies that take up a lot of my time (which means that I don’t have much time for anything else… especially going out; but I wouldn’t trade it for anything). Often, they will organise socials like bowling or games or a movie, that don’t always have to involve drinking.
- Har’s Bar is in the SU and holds evening events like a Quiz Night and Open Mic Night where you don’t have to drink to get involved and have fun.
- Head into Guildford – If you fancy breaking out of the campus bubble, go to town with a group of people who you mutually know. Spoons may get rowdy on a Saturday night but generally, even though there is alcohol behind the bar, not everyone in a pub is drinking. It’s a great social atmosphere where you can chat and have fun getting to know each other without feeling left out that you’re not clubbing later.
- Guildford Spectrum – from a cinema to bowling and ice skating, you could spend hours here with friends, and it’s just a walk away from Uni!
- SSP – The Sports Park is so close by and has a climbing wall, Play Sport events and squash and tennis courts that you could rent.
Don’t get lonely, and remember that there is help around campus to combat this. University can be difficult for anyone for so many reasons – mental health, background, sexuality, cultures, money; and you need to find your own place here. I hope this has given you some ideas of what you can do besides the norm of going ‘out out’. Don’t feel isolated and ostracised, everybody has a worth and reason to enjoy themselves and be happy.