Drinking Hard or Hardly Drinking

Who knew alcohol was for more than just hand sanitiser?

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A lot of students enjoy alcohol as part of their Freshers Week experience. It can ease some of those awkward first moments and help you let your hair down. Alcohol should be enjoyed responsibly to avoid both the physical aftermath and the mortifying flashbacks the morning after. Here are some of our best tips to make sure you don’t remember Freshers for the wrong reasons! 

Eating isn’t cheating! 

Make sure you have a decent meal before you start! Load up on carbs like pasta or bread to make sure the alcohol doesn’t go straight to your head – the sudden hit of drinks can be really overwhelming otherwise. This goes for the end of the night too – having some water and some food just helps you manage those last few shots that bit better!  


“Pre” implies a “post”! Make sure you don’t overdo it too soon so you don’t miss the actual night with your new friends! Imagine how embarrassing it’d be if you’re put to bed before they get to the good tunes! For any clubs and bars that you do choose to go to, bouncers and bar staff can be pretty strict, so if you’re too drunk you’ll be hearing “not tonight pal” or “try somewhere else”. 

Come to the Union!

Mixers and cans can get a bit stale - if you're fancying a change and want to check out the Union, great! Book a table at Geordies here for you and your group, and come try our collectin of spirits, beers/ciders, promo cocktails and wines (and loads more!). We've also got a selection of non-alcoholic stuff too if you're a non-drinker and the fruit juices are getting a bit boring! 

Which one is my room…? 

Visiting friends in another block of flats? Make sure you have a plan about how to get back home! Student accommodation can be a bit confusing if you don’t yet know your way around and you wouldn’t be the first Fresher to stumble into the wrong complex. 

If you’re going further afield, take note of reputable taxi companies (Central Taxis 0131 229 2468, City Cabs 0131 228 1211, Five Star Taxis (SBC) 01896 756789) or share your ride progression in Uber with friends. If you’re taking the bus, make sure you know the schedule - being stuck in the frigid Scottish air can put a dampener on a night out! 

Just be sure to travel home with friends and keep together so that you can find your halls okay. Most of the campus is well lit and security do patrol 24/7 to keep you safe. 

Don’t spend all your student loan 

It’s got to last the rest of the month! It might seem like a good idea breaking out the bank card to pay for a bottle of Moët but you’ll be curling up into a ball when you find the pile of receipts in your pockets the next morning.  

It’s sometimes a good idea to leave your card at home and take out a budgeted amount of cash instead – even if it’s just down the local off licence. That said, make sure you have enough money on you to get home in cash too! 

Stay hydrated 

This one’s a rookie mistake...Alcohol dehydrates you so make sure you keep drinking plenty of water (it’ll help you pace yourself too. At the very least, fill up a glass before you go and leave it by your bed – you’ll thank yourself later.  

Pace yourself! 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint! Nobody wants to be carried home because they’re too drunk. It’ll keep you looking your best too; are you really going to pull with a Jägerbomb spilled down your top and sick on your shoe? 

Stick together 

Get the gang together at the end of the night and don’t travel back alone. Don’t leave your mates behind or assume they’ve already left. The Find my Friends app can come in very handy, even if it is a little Big Brother. It’s always good to do the standard “home safe” text as well. 

Watch your drink 

Make sure you never leave your drink unattended. You don’t want to be the victim of a drink spiking. 

The best way to avoid a hangover? 

Don’t drink or don't drink excessively! Remember you can still have a great night without alcohol and the Student Union encourages responsible drinking. 

For more useful tips and information about safe drinking then check out Drinkaware’s Freshers Week survival guide: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/how-to-reduce-your-drinking/how-to-cut-down/freshers-week-survival-guide/

Can I still enjoy my Fresher’s Week if I don’t drink at all? 

Of course! Whatever your reasons (health, religious or personal, etc.), don't worry! You don’t need to be drunk to have fun! You’ll probably feel a lot better the next day than your drinking friends do. It’s a complete myth that Freshers Week is a rite of passage that requires you to drunkenly ride a shopping trolley, down tequila shots and be hugging the toilet bowl the next day. We banned that in 2003...?? 

You can still participate in the nighttime events if you want to show off your sober dancing. Face it, it’ll be better than everyone else’s. There’s plenty of non-drinking events and mixers every Fresher’s Week so you won’t be short for options!  

Just because you don’t drink, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get involved! 

  • Don’t be shy to let your new flatmates know you don’t drink – they’ll respect your decision and honestly won’t care.  
  • Never feel pressured to join in with something you don’t want to do – being at uni is all about being yourself, and your new friends will respect you for saying no. 
  • It’s not all about alcohol – there’s loads of societies and sports out there! Click here to see what societies are on offer or here for sports clubs. 
  • In the Student Union we even sell a range of non-alcoholic beers, spirits and cocktails for something a bit different but like any other bar, we’ve got soft drinks and fruit juices just the same. Just say it’s a vodka coke and nobody will know the difference anyway! As long as you’re having fun, it doesn’t matter what’s in the glass. 

So if alcohol isn’t for you, enjoy just being drunk on life this Freshers Week! 


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