How to go on a sober night out and enjoy it

Apparently you can have fun without being utterly sloshed

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Exams are like the obnoxiously tall man who sits in front of you at the cinema. Obstructing your view of the future in a dark and irritating way while you just wait patiently for it to be over, so you can buy the film on DVD and forget about the enjoyment killing spectre that dominated it.

Exams are looming, and Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat has tragically morphed into Eat, Sleep, Revise, Weep. You’re dreaming of good old uni lyf, dancing until the lights come on and waking up cuddling a footlong (Subway). And I am here to help.

In first year six people left my corridor because we “partied too hard” (actual quote). I was a member of Champagne Society, Whisky Society, and Wine Society, and liked to go out, a lot.

However, on 6th July 2014, I took up the challenge of going alcohol free for a whole year, to raise money for Mind – The Mental Health Charity.

It’s been more difficult than I imagined, and in different ways (conveying to the bartender in a noisy Greek club how no I really didn’t want any Ouzo in my Fanta was a particular challenge), but, with 100 days left, I think I’ve got the sober night down to a tee.

My cool new 'Fine Without Wine' tshirt

I’ve literally got sobriety down to a tee

A sober night out is perfect for peering round the broad shouldered figure of imminent exams, because unlike an alcohol fuelled blow out, it doesn’t take you out for the following day. And really, you don’t need a drink to have a glorious night. I promise.

Do’s and don’ts of sober fun

Do drink something else

There’s nothing worse than standing empty handed while everyone around you is knocking them back. I am an avid drinker of alcohol-free beer (it feels so naughty), but I’m also very keen on mocktails. And Jagerbombs without the Jager are basically the same- they’ll still make your breath smell like vomit and if you drink 12 Red Bulls you’re still going to feel a bit unwell.

Replacing wine with fake wine

Tonight I’m drinking from the bottle (of alcohol free sparkling grape juice)

Don’t torture yourself

If you hate cheesy pop, don’t make your foray into partying sober on a cheesy pop night! If you’ve not had a drink to lower your inhibitions, just steer clear of situations where you might feel awkward. Personally, I am a bastion of cringe tunes, if I know the words and I have set dance moves, I can sober boogie all night, but throw me somewhere that I can’t reach for the stars and I’m a bundle of nerves.

Do remember no one else knows

You can still let yourself go and pull those wild shapes that you secretly practice in your room, because no one else knows you’re sober as a goat. Also, you’re less likely to fall over when you slut drop.


Don’t make a tit of yourself

Remember, you can’t blame bad behaviour on vodka. You are sober, and you are wholly responsible for your actions. You get with your housemate’s boyfriend, that’s your fault. No excuses. Don’t do it.

Do take your best buds

Friends make sober times seem like drunk ones. Remember that sleepover where 7 people got in one sleeping bag and rolled around the garden, and someone laughed so hard that snot came out of their nose? You were thirteen, and you were sober.

Not even crunk

Not even crunk

Don’t forget you’re not drinking

When you go out sober, you don’t have the Beer Blanket to keep you warm. You also don’t have the numbing effect of drink available to look after heel-clad feet.

Do take advantage

If you’re not drinking you can wear the complex dress with 110 straps, because when you get home (or need to pee) you’ll be fully capable of extracting yourself from it.

Don’t let yourself down

It’s certainly a well-known uni phenomenon that nights that are planned as ‘quiet ones’ seem to be the nights that go entirely haywire and end with you sitting in a bin wearing someone else’s shoes. But stay strong. If that happens, you won’t be able to allow yourself the liberty of cheeky pre-exams night out again.


Do appreciate the moment

This is a night out you’ll remember, and uni is all about making great memories to bore people with for the rest of your life.

Let off some steam, have a cracking time, and if you feel that the money you’re saving by not going out so much during exams is burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to send it my way: