Teetotal student? You’re not alone

Tee-total. Sounds a little boring, especially if you’re a student. That’s all part of the uni experience, right? Wrong! 

University is a special time for a great number of young people (and a few of us mature students too). From a course perspective, it’s a chance to set the foundations, have fun with the course content and gain the applicable knowledge for future careers.

From a social perspective, it’s a wonderful opportunity to create lasting friendships and share new experiences with like-minded people. This is usually done over a pint or cocktail, sometimes a shot of tequila, if you’re brave enough.

But if you don’t drink, this can be a real issue for you. Peer pressure and the desire to fit in can cause you to feel like you’re the only one who isn’t drinking. But honestly, you’re not alone.

Alcohol is known to be a part of the university student culture

Why are some students tee-total?

Some students do not drink for a range of different reasons – health, personal experiences with family or friends, religious beliefs or to put it plain and simple, they just don’t like alcohol that much. Whichever reason you choose, the most important thing to remember is that it’s right for you.

One student told me he’d been tee-total for three years, adapting his drinking habits to align with his personal values within the punk and hardcore social scenes.

He said: “I was going through a really rough time… I felt I needed something to control negative coping mechanisms.”

Instead of using alcohol as an outlet, he chose to go tee-total until he was ready to enjoy it, showing great maturity and level-headedness against a culture that is so easy to become part of at university.

Another student said: “There’s a few reasons why I don’t drink. I don’t enjoy the sensation of being drunk – I can have fun without drinking. Also, I just generally don’t like alcohol.”

‘I can have fun without alcohol’

Alcohol is expensive 

Others said they felt it was too expensive to drink on the budget of a student loan and were certain “it saves a lot of money not to drink.”

Negative effects of alcohol 

Another student explained: “I have pretty bad social anxiety. When I would drink, it would ruin my night. I would worry about getting home, being hungover, whether I was being too loud/too annoying. I really don’t feel like I’m missing out too much.”

The reasoning behind these students’ decisions not to drink is one that has not been taken lightly and those decisions should be respected. Be mindful if someone seems reluctant to have alcohol on your next night out – they may be tee-total.

And for the tee-totalers out there, the most important thing to remember is to feel comfortable and be yourself. Alcohol can be a great addition to the night if you enjoy it but equally, it can ruin an evening if you drink just to keep up appearances.

Christ Church also has a number of social options for non-drinkers. You can find details of Chooseday Chill, The Lounge non-alcohol events and more on the university blogs area, here.

Make the right choice… do what’s best for you!


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