Alcohol and you: How to not make an utter tit of yourself during freshers’ week

A relationship with alcohol is a personal one.


My dear freshers, an arduous and confusing week lies before you.

You have been tasked with moving house, meeting a load of scary academics who have a disturbing amount of power over your college life, wrestling with a reading list longer than your leg and forming meaningful friendships so you don’t have to eat in hall alone like a saddo all in five short days. To make matters worse, you will have to do most of this either drunk or hungover.

Now some of you may be like me when I was a fresher. I am from Ireland, I had older friends who could buy me booze, I have outrageously chilled parents (my father once sent a text to my mother reading ‘Molly is upstairs surrounded by lesbians drinking shitty vodka, the only issue I have with that is the ‘shitty’ part’). It is safe to say by the time I arrived at university, alcohol was thoroughly demystified.

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Teenage Molly, being very edgy during her pop punk phase

However, many of you may not be so fortunate and freshers’ week could be your first time actually drinking or at least drinking without the safety net of nearby parents or friends who’ve known you forever and will look after you even if you’re vomiting like that kid from The Exorcist. This column is for you guys, so let Vodka Aunt Molly guide you through your brand new relationship with alcohol.

DON’T scream from the rooftops that it’s your first time drinking

There is nothing that inspires greater dread in my shrivelled heart than someone I’ve just met saying ‘I’ve never really drunk before’ as they down tequila shots. On instinct, I will now try to spend as little time with this person as humanly possible. This is because I know that by the end of the evening they’re going to be a total bloody disaster and I do not want to be the person stuck cleaning up their sick/wee/tears.

Keep your alcoholic virginity on the DL for at least a while, that way by the time you’re vomiting up a lung/weeing your pants in the smoking area of Cindie’s/crying uncontrollably about the death of your goldfish when you were five, it will be too late for any potential new buddies to escape.

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My face when you tell me you’ve never drunk before

DO be responsible for your own drink

There are so many disasters that could have been avoided if people would just respect the ancient and sacred law of BYOB. I have my drinking down to a science. For me, two bottles of coke filled with three quarters coke and one quarter rum = happily tipsy. I bring that to pre-drinks, safe in the knowledge that if I stick to my own stuff I will not make a fool of myself that evening. It may take a while to work out your own personal happily tipsy formula, but once you’ve got it sussed, I recommend you stick to it.

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In case you wanted to know what ‘happily tipsy’ looks like

DON’T let other people mix drinks for you

The best advice about drinking I ever got was from my home economics teacher. “I don’t care how many drinks you’ve had, as long as you know how many drinks you’ve had.” There is a huge difference between ‘I’ve had two pints’ and ‘I’ve had two mugs full of special juice that the guy I just met has been brewing in his bathtub.’ You can’t ever learn your limits if you never know how much you’re pushing them, so mix your drinks yourself and keep track of what’s in them.

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No matter where you are, mix your own drinks

DO be aware that the dumb things you do in fresher’s week may haunt you

I’m not even talking about big stuff, like doing yourself an injury or getting off with someone you regret or drunk dialling your nan. I’m talking about the relatively minor stuff that your friends will never stop slagging you for. I have a friend who fully believed that she time travelled in freshers’ week. You better believe I bring up this story regularly. Freshers’ week is a week where you are doing your best to seem friendly and cool, don’t shatter the illusion after one too many jaegerbombs.

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This photo represents the fragile illusion of my coolness

DON’T feel like you have to drink

In spite of everything I’ve said here, you actually don’t have to drink your way through fresher’s week. Some of the better nights I had in fresher’s week are the ones where I stayed in, took it easy and actually got to know the people in my college while I was stone cold sober. It’s all about what you’re comfortable with. If you’re the kind of person that wants to go wild every night of fresher’s week, go nuts! If you want to stay in and bond with your new friends over mugs of hot chocolate, you do it! If you want to alternate the two, you go!

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Good wholesome pyjama-based fun

Just be safe, be yourself and try not to look too haggard in the matriculation photo and it will all be fine.