Many college students will soon be returning to their campuses. Last semester was undoubtedly challenging for most of them who had to unexpectedly and suddenly return home and finish out their year online due to massive school shut downs across the country. The upcoming semester will also be challenging in many ways as student’s activities and ability to move freely about campus will be greatly restricted. It’s no secret that binge drinking is problematic on many college campuses. This post is dedicated to all students who want to have fun in college without alcohol.
When asked why they drink, college students often give similar answers. Some say they want to fit in, and because drinking is such an integral component of college social life, they feel like they have to participate in order to be part of the crowd. Others say that alcohol helps them feel less inhibited and more confident in social settings. Sadly, many college students say they are addicted to alcohol and started drinking at very young ages. Whether you’re struggling to overcome addiction or have never tasted alcohol and really don’t want to, remember that there are many ways to have fun in college without taking part in the binge drinking scene.
Choose group hobbies to have fun in college
The rigors of academic studies can be stressful, for sure. It’s understandable that you need some down time to hang out with friends and chill, away from the books. If you want to have fun in college without drinking (especially underage drinking) consider getting your friends to agree to rotate group hobbies by the month.
Every month, a different person gets to choose a new hobby. For the rest of the month, you plan group activities based on the hobby of choice. It’s a fun way to try to new things and to enjoy interaction with friends without alcohol.
Binge on movies instead of alcohol
Part of what attracts so many young adults to the binge drinking scene is there is often a lot of laughter and good times happening at parties. Laughter is good for your health, consuming copious amounts of alcohol when you have an early class the next day, not so much. You can have fun in college and share lots of laughter with your friends by hosting comedy movie marathons.
Pitch in for some snacks and make sure you reserve the movie screen if your campus has a common room where reservations are required for movie watching. If you can’t get the common room, you can binge watch comedy movies together on YouTube, Hulu or Netflix.
Enjoy local sites and amenities
Once you buckle down to your daily campus routine, you get used to going classes, sports practices or work study. It’s easy to be so focused on fulfilling your obligations that you forget there’s a whole world outside your campus! To have fun in college without alcohol, plan a few road trips to take in local sites, attend free concerts, tour historical landmarks or enjoy other fun activities, like going to an escape room with your friends.
Does your campus have a sober group?
If you want to have fun in college without binge drinking, you are likely not the only one who feels that way. In fact, many campuses now have sober groups. Such groups are basically clubs for students who want to have fun without drinking.
If you’re campus doesn’t have a sober group, why not start one? Activities can include outdoor fun like going for hikes or hosting tailgate parties at sporting events, going camping, etc. The idea is that it’s easier to resist pressure to drink when you commit yourself to the goal along with a group of students who are like-minded.
Have fun in college through faith-based activities
Most colleges have campus ministry groups or other faith-based activities available to students. Developing and nurturing an active prayer and faith life during your college years can be beneficial in many ways. It’s particularly helpful for those who want to avoid all the potential risks and problems that often result from binge drinking.
Is drinking always bad?
If you’re 21 or older, you are legally permitted to purchase and consume alcohol. While there is nothing inherently wrong with having a beer, glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage (provided you are not living on a dry campus with rules against it) you have to be the one to decide what’s best for you.
A lot of people would rather abstain from alcohol altogether while others choose to occasionally imbibe. Countless students get into trouble in school because of binge drinking — not only academic trouble but legal trouble as well. I’d need 10 hands to count all the people who have told me they wish they had done more studying and less drinking in college.
When you arrive on campus, just remember that the choice is YOURS. There are many (healthier, better, safer) ways to have fun in college without alcohol!