Student nightlife (WHAT TO EXPECT)

Student nightlife (WHAT TO EXPECT)

From Freshers Week to end-of-term parties, student nightlife is a big part of university life. Here’s what to expect and how to survive it.

Maybe this is stating the super-freaking obvious, but lots of student nights out revolve around drinking alcohol. And, when the students’ union bar is open on campus all day and many venues offer cheap drink deals to the mid-week student crowd, it’s easy to take this to excess.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting a buzz on but getting messy is, well, messy. I think we can all agree that getting absolutely trashed is not a good look for the ‘gram. You want to be smart in how you approach your drinking, otherwise, things can go from fun to regrettable pretty quickly.

Pre-drinking is a big thing with student nights out, either at home before going out, or in the bar before going to a club night. This means that you could be drinking alcohol for several hours (like double-figures), which increases your chances of ending up in a state you’d rather not be in before the night is over.

Don’t go too hard too soon when you go to a pre-drinking session; pace yourself. You don’t want to drink so much in the first couple of hours that you have to bail early and miss a good night out. Or worse still; you make yourself ill or you make bad decisions because you’re too pissed to know what you’re doing. Maybe you pull but end up too worse for wear and your admirer has a change of heart. Whatever the outcome of drinking too much, it’s never good.

With that in mind, here are some tips for making the most of student nightlife and avoiding the main downsides of excessive drinking:

  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Your tolerance for alcohol is greatly affected by how much you have eaten during the day. Have a good meal before you go out; it will line your stomach and help your body process the booze better. Don’t buy into the “eating is cheating” bullshit some people like to throw around.
  • Don’t feel pressured into drinking lots just because people around you are. Everybody has different limits. Listen to your body and do what’s right for you.
  • Know your limits. Keep track of how much you have drunk. It is easy to get carried away and end up in an embarrassing, or even potentially dangerous, state.
  • Pace yourself. Alcohol takes a while to have an effect, so however drunk you feel now, you are going to feel even more so in half an hour. If you start feeling too out of it, hit pause and stop drinking for a bit. Just because you stop drinking doesn’t mean your night is over. You can take a break for an hour or two until you feel okay again and then carry on drinking if you still want to. But don’t keep drinking just for the sake of it. Find your level and enjoy yourself.
  • Periodically drink water. Alcohol dehydrates you, which contributes to hangovers. Drink a glass of water for every two or three alcoholic drinks you have. This will keep you hydrated and dilute the alcohol in your bloodstream. It will also make you feel a lot better the following morning. If you are self-conscious about drinking water in front of people (which you shouldn’t be), do it discreetly at the bar instead.
  • Look out for your mates. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your friends and check that they are okay. If things start getting messy, encourage them to take it easy rather than keep on drinking. They may not want to hear it but they will thank you later.

Follow this advice and you should be able to enjoy the positive aspects of social drinking while avoiding the downsides. If you’re not really into drinking, don’t feel pressured into it because everybody around you is doing so. Stick to your guns and drink soft drinks instead. You don’t need to drink alcohol to have a good time.

Not all student nightlife revolves around drinking. There are plenty of alternative ways to spend an evening, such as comedy nights, the cinema, gaming events, or hanging out with members of a society that caters to a personal interest you have.

You can have a very active and varied social life at university without ever touching a drop of alcohol, so don’t get hung up on thinking that you have to drink regularly, or even at all. There is way more to life. Do what works for you.