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10 things to do at university as a non-drinker

Posted at 21 August 2023 in Village Life, Health & Wellbeing

It’s evident that drinking and clubbing are a big part of the British University culture and as a non-drinker myself, I was worried that I would be missing out on a lot of social occasions or that I wouldn’t be able to make friends without going out, but I couldn’t have been more wrong… Not everyone likes clubbing, not everyone drinks- you certainly won’t be alone! Here is a list of fun non-drinking activities that you can do so that you won’t feel like you’re missing out on the full university experience.

1. Societies

Everyone bangs on about how you should join societies and I really do have to agree. You get to meet people with similar interests to you as well develop new hobbies and new skills. Whats great is that most societies run on a weekly basis, so you’ll have something to do every single week- no excuses to just stay in your room! Personally, I did pole dancing on a Monday night and salsa dancing on a Tuesday, and I looked forward to them every single time.  I’m already thinking about what other societies I can join next year!

2. Coffee Dates

Cafes are great to meet up with your friends for a catch up or a study date; it’s nothing new or revolutionary but there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the basics sometimes. Many cafes also offer student discount which is always a perk. And to spice it up a little bit, you could try to look for some quirkier more unique cafes, like the cat café in Nottingham.

3. Games Nights

If you’ve got a group of friends- get together for a games night. The options are practically endless when it comes to what games you could play. My personal favourites include Cards Against Humanity, Who’s Most Likely To, Guess who with people you know and so on. It’s always great fun and as an extra perk, it doesn’t cost a single penny and you don’t even have to leave your flat!

4. Come Dine with Me

If you’ve got a group of friends on campus you could take it in turns to cook for each other for a week ‘Come Dine with Me’ style. It’s great fun, in fact its even more fun if you’re not a great cook because then you’re in for a laugh. But you could always go for the lazy option which is to just eat out or order a takeaway.

5. Movie Night

Meeting up with new people can be daunting, watching a movie together gives you something to talk about (the film) and so removes some of that awkwardness factor that would have otherwise been removed by a drink. And throughout the year, you could even commit to meet up weekly with your friends to watch a particular show together- it’s so much better than sitting in your room on your own.

6. Days Out

I live in the Bonington Student Village and local to me are:  The Nottingham Dear Park, Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle (and more of course). Maybe you’re not a fan of the outdoors, but I am sure that you could find something in that case too; things like mini golf, bowling, escape rooms ect are also great options.

7. University/ Society Social Events

You CAN go to social events and just not drink (I know shocker). For example, I went to the societies ball organised by my university, and it was great fun. Most societies also have regular social events and not all of them are club-related so make sure to have your eye out for any that you might fancy.

8. Village Life Events

Campus Living Villages are great for entertainment too! Bonington Student Village holds regular events on such as arts and crafts, chocolate decorating and many more. What’s great about those is that:

  • they are all on campus, so you don’t have to travel anywhere
  • they’re free.
  • you can meet new people that also live on campus.

9. Local Events

I cannot emphasise this enough but STAY UP TO DATE WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR AREA. Drawing on the example of Nottingham again, they do different movie screening at the castle (they even screened the Eurovision final that I missed out on because I wasn’t checking!), they have different festivals on in the city centre with live music and many more.

10. Student Discount Crawl

You’ve certainly heard about pub crawls but what about student discount crawls? Do some good research, gather up all your uni-days/ student beans discounts and go round the city making the most of all the student perks and embracing your student life!

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