The Tab Tries: A night out in Why Not, sober

Getting turnt off OJ is perfectly reasonable

I’m not opposed to the sesh. On the contrary, I’m a big fan of clubbing, especially within the context of the range of nightlife Edinburgh has to offer. However, with the sesh comes spending all the money you could be spending on falafel wraps at the Nile Valley Cafe and, a nasty hangover in your 10am History of Art lecture.

So, I thought I’d try and experiment a little and have a night out in Edinburgh solely fuelled by non-alcoholic beverages.

Don’t let me down


My friend was hosting pres at Riego Street so I went over with a carton of orange juice and a wistful longing for the bottle of Glenn’s left on my windowsill. Pres hadn’t really kicked off yet and everyone was surprised when I told them I was drinking straight juice: they had all assumed there had been something mixed into the carton.

Initially, I felt pressured to make conversation and act more bubbly than I would normally. It felt strange not being able to rely on an alcoholic buzz to keep me going and the conversation flowing. It really hit me how much we rely on alcohol to make us feel more confident when we meet new people, especially at university.

Fitting in well.

As the Top 40 hits got louder, the drinking games started. Ring of Fire was an experience – I don’t think I’d ever downed so much juice in my life during the ‘waterfall’ card. I was starting to settle in the vibe of pres and started loosening up to the tunes of Little Mix and the glow of the disco ball.

Watching everyone slowly descend into a drunken haze around me as I loaded myself on Vitamin C was definitely a surreal experience. Surprisingly, it made me feel less self-conscious about my sober state than aware and I enjoyed smiling and nodding eagerly as I was told about boyfriend troubles and speculation on the release date for the next Game of Thrones series.

Going to the club

WhyNot is a dystopian neon hell maze even when you’re sober

What is with drunk Edinburgh students and running? My short legs just about carried my sober self to the bus as my friends raced ahead of me, hollering something about living life and white rum.

As I entered WhyNot and headed to the bar to order myself an apple juice, I contemplated calling my Asian mother and telling her she raised me well but decided against it.

Best apple juice in town.

S Club 7 sounds even better when you can fully appreciate your friends losing all sense of rhythm around you. WhyNot was a big enough club for me to feel like I had enough room to move and to breathe. The strobe lights even made me feel a bit tipsy. I couldn’t stop smiling and never felt more awake and in the moment.

No night out in Edinburgh is complete without going to the McDonalds on Princes Street. I reached for my unused fiver with ease whilst others around me stumbled around, fishing through their pockets for the spare quid or two they hadn’t spent on tequila shots.

The apple juice really attracted all the fellas. Disclaimer: honestly had no idea who this guy was.

I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed and relaxed; remembering everything from having to hand my orange juice around to use as mixer, to the couple making out in the corner of the WhyNot smoking area. I’m not sure I could’ve done it at Hive but it was definitely an unforgettable experience and something worth trying again.

University of Edinburgh

The Tab Edinburgh

last seen today at 03:09

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