20:47:00 Eve Alcock 1 Comments

**This is a blog post of two halves... the first half I wrote whilst slightly inebriated after a night out last week. The second half I wrote this evening AKA not slightly inebriated...**

Part 1:

So it's definitely 2.43am on Saturday morning, and I've definitely just got back from a night out at freshers week and no less than an hour ago I was definitely dancing with The Hoosiers.

You're probably wondering why I'm not stuffing my face with kebab or forgetting to take my makeup off, but this blog post has been a long time coming.

All week in fact.

Lets start from the beginning.

I enjoy having a few drinks. I like that it's a sociable activity, I enjoy unwinding at the end of a week with drinks and friends. And freshers week is a great opportunity to socialise with people and have a few beverages... But the extent of alcohol I have witnessed so far this week has got me thinking.

The extremes of the UK's drinking culture is bizarre. Like.... lets all ingest enough of this liquid, in a concoction of our choice, make our minds fuzzy, change our personalities, and do stuff that we wouldn't dream of doing sober...

Its just weird right?

Most of the time, people's decision to do this is completely within their power. The choice is theirs and theirs alone. But occasionally, the power it has over people, both socially and culturally is astounding.

All too often, ones ability to 'down' a drink appears to be directly proportional to ones credibility; your level of 'fun'. I've seen freshers left right and centre responding eagerly to WE LIKE TO DRINK WITH [insert name here]. 

Like... why are you doing that? I'm almost certain no one has ever downed their drink, paused and thought 'what a wonderful experience, I'd like to do that again'. It's easy to be absorbed in that kind of drinking culture, but you needn't do it to achieve some sort of social status or credibility.

Bath's freshers week this year was the most inclusive and diverse year yet, with alternative events being more popular than ever before. Yet I still noticed that there there seems to be an extremely fine line between a fun evening with drinks, and a really unhealthy attitude towards alcohol.

"I didn't want to be sad anymore so I just drunk loads" 
Alcohol is literally a depressant. No wonder people end up in floods of tears by using it as a coping mechanism. 

"I feel so ugly, I'm gonna get battered" 
 Please, for the love of God, have enough confidence in yourself sober to not have to rely on alcohol for a good night, or to get with someone, or to forget about X Y or Z.

"The night would have been better if I was trashed'

You don't have to down that bottle of whiskey and coke, You don't have to lose your actual mind to have a good night. If you're of the opinion that the night would have been better if you were trashed, chances are, it wasn't going to be a very good night in the first place.

Part 2:

Interestingly, since writing this, it's occurred to me that perhaps I'm not alone in my frustration about drinking culture that is often experienced by some at university. Over the past few days I've read a fair few articles suggesting that the most recent generation of young people are drinking less, going clubbing less and looking for a more diverse range of social activities - particularly in freshers week. 

Either, this is a generation of millennials who for some unfathomable reason don't like consuming copious amounts of alcohol at extremely high speed, getting overly emotional and passing out in a ditch (sarcasm), or they've just found a way to make their voices heard. They appear to be increasingly deciding that the binge drinking culture lifestyle is not for them.

It is important then, that companies and institutions - whether they be colleges, universities, clubs or societies take this into account. This is a generation of unique and diverse individuals, with a wide range of hobbies and interests. For once, people are realising that not all young people enjoy clubbing. Not all young people like to drink. Not all young people are attracted to a wild party animal lifestyle. And that's okay.

And hopefully, for people who - like I have in the past- have got completely swept up by ridiculous drinking culture, this is a welcome shift in zeitgeist that will give them the confidence to take charge of their own social lives. If they want to go out and get trashed - then that is completely their choice. But if this shift can release the pressure of the vice that alcohol is for so many people, then we will all be better for it.

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