No matter who you are, when you think about a stereotypical image of a student a similar image probably comes to mind. Forget the studying and exams, universities are a place to get party, drink and go crazy non-stop. Right? Though this may be one of the major attractions for many would be students who are eager to join in, there are an equally large number who find it just a little bit stressful.
Whether you are someone who really doesn’t enjoy the party lifestyle or someone who is anxious about the pressures to drink and match the antics of your peers do not fret, we are here to help you…
You shouldn’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with.
Many will tell you that you should approach university with an open mind and whilst this is a great rule of thumb when it comes to speaking to new people and trying new experiences, it is important to make sure that you don’t compromise on something you truly believe in.
If you are a happily teetotal or more of a social drinker than an aspiring weekend drunk, make sure you draw your limits and stick to them. If the people around you are worth hanging out with, they will respect that.
Like the great comedian Tim Minchin’s song title, “don’t open your mind too much, or your brain will fall out.” Don’t lose your brain. You might need it for studying or something…
You will find your crowd.
One of the most exciting aspects of university is being able to find people in all walks of life with similar interests to you. Whether your passion is for table tennis, political debates or dungeons and dragons, chances are your future best friends of paddle wielding, orc slaying Corbynites are just around the corner.
As a good rule of thumb if you find yourself surrounded by people who constantly make you uncomfortable and pressure you to do things you don’t want to…they are probably not your kind of people. If you are having trouble finding your crowd then make sure to check out the groups on your campus and get involved as much as you can until you do.
The knowledge that typical students are not quite so typical.
Despite all you may have heard about the averages student’s almost indestructible liver capacity and insatiable thirst for loud music and dance floors, the truth is that in reality, almost everyone settles into a calmer routine after the first few weeks.
Though partying till the sun comes up with your new friends sounds great for a while, the appeal starts to drain a bit when it is paired with having to get up early and go to class with a hangover. After a few weeks you will find that instead of never ending parties, most students resign themselves to waiting till the weekend. This means that whilst the pressure to join in the crazy parties in the first few weeks may be high, things will inevitably calm down after a few weeks.
And if you really are finding it hard to knuckle down when people around you are enjoying yet another weekend or cheap vodka fuelled thrills, know that second and third years generally go out even less. Turns out the pressure of impending future deciding exams can be just as sobering as a wet shower in the end.
You don’t need to be a party animal or massive drinker to enjoy university. For every person who finds appeal in that lifestyle there is someone who doesn’t. Your job is to find them. Get out there, stick to your principals, go to all the clubs and activities as you can and you will have a great time no matter how much you drink (or don’t).
Words by Ben Hawkes