Life is too short for Dry January

Dry January is shit. Yes I may be marginally richer, but I like alcohol, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

Alcohol Cambridge Cambridge University Cindies Drinking dry january Life Student

2 weeks into Dry January and I don’t feel like the Grecian goddess I thought I would. For your sanity and happiness, don’t do it. Us students need drink; it’s basically the 6th food group.

Drink is especially required for us Cambridge students, who often drink to forget. When sober on a night out I still think and (worse) talk about my degree. The smoking area of Life is not the time nor place to ask someone if they have mocks, or how many internships they applied to.

Drunk, I am oblivious to all responsibility other than the responsibility to stay standing, but even that doesn’t much matter when you live within crawling distance of every club, and have kind friends to help drag you home (sorry Hill colleges).

At least I'm no longer a shareholder at Cindies this term

At least I’m no longer a shareholder at Cindies this term

And don’t think it’s depressing that being drunk can make us happy, because happiness will always be subjective. Drunk elation is just as ‘real’ as any other, guys, don’t hate on my intoxicated happiness. Does it matter that, if I were sober, my conversation would be incomprehensible and Cindies would cease to be exciting?

No, because in the drunken moment I am a world class comedienne and Cindies is nightlife Mecca.

Perhaps, I thought, I should simply act as I would if I were drunk. Live by the mantra: what would drunk Sarah do? She would race through the streets; she would get with strangers; she would hug everyone and talk about her secrets and attempt to pay for drinks with a hairclip. Somehow this didn’t seem feasible in such a temperate state.

Dancing sober is admittedly more fun than my less confident fourteen-year-old self would have ever believed, but I was inevitably more restrained, and I really missed being able to use ‘I was drunk’ as an excuse for reckless behaviour.

Very Alcohol. Much Drunk.

Very Alcohol. Much Drunk.

And I realised that drinking has become a small part of my identity. Is this a good thing? The jury’s out, but after a year my friends almost expect it of me. I was told by friends that they missed my drunk self. I got a message excitedly telling me that there was a tab behind the bar at a party, followed by ‘Oh’. I had a friend take my ID so that I didn’t loose it, forgetting that for once I was the one in more control, and someone even offered to donate to me if I started drinking again.

It was disconcerting to be so alert all the time – I would notice and actually care if someone bumped into me or spilt their drink over me or I had an awkward conversation. I missed the slightly fuzzy edges, piecing together the incidents of the evening and having embarrassing stories to tell.

I would have quit early on had it not been for the money my family and friends had donated. The general consensus was that I couldn’t lie to my sponsors, but equally there was no way I was about to reimburse donations and face the disappointment of my family.

My mum, especially, had been very encouraging of my endeavour and if she knew I’d failed miserably, her growing impressions of me as a student alcoholic would have been undoubtedly confirmed. (Mum, if you’re reading this, I apologise)

RIP to the clubber I used to be

RIP to the clubber I used to be

But I was still confident to spend the month well, and avoid near-constant FOMO. I did sober Life, sober Turf and a sober house party. A sober swap, sober Cindies, sober formal, sober Fez, and a sober ball. But were they as fun? Did I really get my money’s worth? Absolutely not. I don’t feel healthier, I don’t feel more energised and I don’t feel the sanctimonious glow that so often seems to accompany abstention.

Come February I might drink less, and I’ll definitely appreciate it more when I do, but if you like drinking then life is too short, as is your time at Cambridge.

Let’s not sacrifice the booze, but embrace the VK lifestyle.