There’s one thing that you go to university for, and that is drinking. Or… not. Being the one person in my house and wider friendship group who cannot stand clubs kind of gives you an idea of what kind of minority I am in. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do like to have a drink or a few, even if my tastes in alcohol have been labelled middle-aged -wine, preferably red, gin and tonic and the odd Bailey’s..! Either way, it doesn’t really matter; this post isn’t to encourage or discourage drinking alcohol. This post is more about your attitude to the partying and clubbing culture in university, and how to still have fun if you’d sooner be in bed than on a sticky dance floor at 3am.
It’s only a week in to the new semester, and things are already getting busy. My timetable is pretty well loaded, often starting at 9am and not finishing until 6pm with few breaks and a long list of notes and reading to catch up on. On top of this, I am chairing an academic society, squeezing in gym sessions, tidying the house (someone has to!) and keeping this blog running. So, often, like many students come evening I just want to curl up in my room and sleep! However, sometimes we have a greater store of energy, and luckily, you should find lots to do. Most societies are scheduled into evening slots so grab a friend and give some a try. You’ll have the option of sports and athletic clubs, hobbies, and academic societies, so you can choose which interest you want to pursue. Depending on how your university funds societies, this is one of the cheapest and often most casual commitments to make, as well as great fun. On another note, take interest in what the local pubs and businesses have on. We have a cafe that transforms itself into a band venue and cinema club, and most other places have a quiz, open mike or band night each week.
One of my favourite things about weekends is that I have the mornings all to myself. There are no 9am lectures, so everyone else is having a lie in until midday, or nursing a hangover. I LOVE mornings. I can get my workout done and dusted, have time to myself and indulge over breakfast. Even if you’re not an early riser, chances are you’ll still be up before anyone who went out will. Try to use these golden few hours productively and you’ll be free to socialise by the time everyone else is just getting up.
Sometimes I like to go out… halfway. I’ll join everyone for a house party or pre drinks, or I’ll go along to the pub before the rest of the group head to the clubs proper. Taking this half way approach really helps me to not feel like I am missing out. I get to spend time with my friends, enjoy a couple of drinks and still not feel like I’ve had a complete blow out -staying out can result in me getting very tired, or very grumpy and neither of these are what I want to be! In some respects, I think you get to enjoy the best parts of the night by backing out early -everyone tends to get scattered on the dance floor or queue for drinks, which is just a pain!
Now, an ideal situation would be to have a friend, or even circle of friends who have a similar attitude to going out to you. But then again, things might not be so interesting that way! Alternatively, grab your friends on a night that they aren’t going out and have an evening in. Have a flat meal together or a film night. Nights in in front of the telly (or laptop!) are a perfect excuse to get out some healthy treats to try as well, so make sure your cupboards are well stocked.
Finally, no matter what, don’t feel guilty. If you want to go out, great! If not… also great! University is the first place where you can start to properly be yourself so be you! Find your niche and own it, even if your friends don’t quite sit in to it as well as you do. Do what makes you feel good and healthy.