Can You Be A Teetotal Student (And Still Have Fun)?

Can You Be A Teetotal Student (And Still Have Fun)?
  • Opening Intro -

    OK, we all know that a lot of American universities prohibit drinking on campus.

    Besides which, you’re not supposed to drink until you’re 21 by law.


However, we all also know that these laws are routinely broken, and a lot of blind eyes are turned. Rightly or wrongly, colleges and their students have quite the reputation for drinking – every week there’s another story in the news about some frat party which got out of hand, or student pranks carried out under the influence of alcohol.

Sadly, this reputation makes potential students who aren’t so keen on drinking think twice about coming to college. After all, if people are happy to break the law and ignore college rules in order to get absolutely obliterated, drinking must be a pretty important part of college culture. And resisting it must, therefore, be pretty difficult.

People who are, for whatever reason, teetotal or don’t wish to drink heavily often fear that they’ll come under enormous pressure to part with personal integrity and drink. That, or risk social isolation, and perhaps even bullying.

Have a good time

Everybody wants to have a good time at college. We’re always being told that we’ll make our ‘friends for life’ at college. However, some are concerned that they won’t get the chance to have a great time because of their feelings about drinking. Don’t worry. It is perfectly possible to have a wonderful time at college without drinking.

Plenty of college students never touch a drop during their entire time at college – it’s just that these students never make the news, or get featured in movies about college life, so you never hear about them. Seek out these people – they’re not hard to find – and you’ll make some amazing friends and have a wonderful time without having to compromise your principles.

Being social without alcohol

Of course, it’s perfectly possible to make friends with and socialize with drinkers as well as non-drinkers! If they’re good friends and respect you, they’ll understand and respect your decision once you explain your reasons for not drinking. If this becomes an issue, think about how you’re reacting to them.

Are you being judgemental about their own choice to drink, or trying to force them not to drink as hard as they’re trying to force you to drink?

This kind of behavior often makes people resentful, and they’ll ‘push back’ with their own agenda.

The best thing to do is to calmly but firmly refuse alcohol, and, if asked for your reasons, explain them in a non-judgemental manner. Should they continue to push alcohol on you after this, then they are either too drunk to regulate their behavior, or are not respecting you as a friend should. Time to leave, and, if you want to, resume the friendship another time.

If you’re unsure how to refuse alcohol, here are a few tips which may help.

Post written and provided by Anne Garner

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Categories: Student Health