I did Dry January and it literally ruined my social life
Do not try this at home
You've heard of it, you know people who've attempted it, and you question why anyone would ever do it. Well, back on January 1st I decided to go sober for the entire month, and little did I know that Dry January would literally ruin my social life in more ways than one.
Sober pres were painful
Have you ever had to play beer pong with orange squash? No? Well consider yourself lucky. While all my friends slowly got more drunk and enjoyed themselves, I had to sit there with nothing but a sugar rush. What made the whole ordeal even worse was coming to the realisation that my singing and dancing skills aren't actually good, as previous drunk-me had thought so.
Saying goodbye to my drunk insulation was tough
Going out at night while sober was a stuggle, but actually being able to feel the freeze of a January night, without any type of alcohol blanket, was a new kind of torture. No amount of clubbing-appropriate layers could shield me in the same way that vodka shots could. I felt betrayed, alone, and on the verge of contracting pneumonia.
Clubbing was a chore
Trying to enjoy a night out sober when you're surrounded by people off their face is near enough impossible. No one's on your level, and frankly, you lose a lot of confidence when you're completely sober. There was no meeting new friends in the toilets or drunk chatting-up guys by the bar. It was just a very, very awkward experience.
Everyone I told thought I was crazy
There is something about 'students and lack of alcohol' in the same sentence which doesn't make sense. "You're a fresher, it's your job to drink" I was told, multiple times. "Wait, are you sick?" was also a common question throughout the month. Even going to the Student Union bar in the evenings to socialise, and ordering a tap water made me feel like I was truly crazy.
It didn't even make that much of a difference to my health
Sure, my liver probably felt a hell of a lot better, but my overall appearance and health wasn't affected by my sobriety. My skin didn't get any better, my weight stayed the same and if anything, I was more miserable because I was depriving myself of things which made me happy.
Sports socials turned into the bane of my life
There's something very sad about hearing the words "Down it fresher!" and then having to down a pint…of water. When you mess up the drinking games, you couldn't even blame the alcohol. And it was very sad being the odd-one-out while the rest of your team mates drank together, considering that drinking is such an integral part of student societies.
Would I do Dry January again? Absolutely not. But I do think that reducing the amount you drink, when having a healthier lifestyle, can positively affect you and your bank account. However cutting out alcohol completely from a student lifestyle is literally social suicide, especially when that's how the majority of your friendships were formed at Uni.