An International Student of Literature in England.
I don’t want to start an entire debate but if you know me, you probably know that I barely ever drink alcohol and that I hate the whole drinking and “pre drinking” culture at university and among teenagers and young adults. I know that lots of people (the majority?) enjoy drinking and going out to clubs or to the LCR to have a fun time with their friends… But I just wanted to write reassuring words for those who don’t want to be part of all this but who might feel like they’ll be left out and make no friends at uni, especially during Freshers’ Week.
In my experience of university in England, people go out A LOT but I’ve never felt pressured into doing anything. I might just have been lucky, but my flatmates seemed to be understanding of the fact that I avoid drinking alcohol and didn’t want to go out (too busy working like a nerd). To be honest, I don’t even feel comfortable in a bar or at pres so I barely ever went. On top of that, I find that one of the worst things about English not being my mother tongue is that I barely understand people if it’s too noisy or busy around me.
I might come across as a really boring person but it doesn’t matter to me, my health and money are more important than ending up vomiting on the floor. Do I regret it now? No, I don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong, I still recommend trying to do stuff with your flatmates as much as possible, especially during Freshers’ Week because they often end up being your closest friends! Even if you don’t like it much, you making the effort and sharing your worries with your new friends will make a difference. The last thing you want to do is to isolate yourself.
So in short, just be yourself at university! It sounds super cliché but that it true and I can’t stress this enough. In my house — the smallest one, with only four flats — most people would go out but they were usually respectful even when they got back really late (something I stressed about before coming to uni). I got lucky though because in my flat, there were two other girls who were more like me so I ended up living with them in a house the following year! While others were partying, we were watching Derren Brown shows and Disney movies — which is pretty cool too 😛 I’m grateful for that because ending up on your own when everybody else is having fun can be quite depressing.
Be yourself and have fun! 🙂