How To Survive College When You Don't Drink
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How To Survive College When You Don't Drink

Tips and tricks from someone who figured it out

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How To Survive College When You Don't Drink
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It can be hard to find your place at college when you have no interest in drinking, but that doesn't mean you won't. Here are some tips to making it work.

1. Live in Substance-Free Housing

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If your college or university offers substance free housing, use it. Typically, it means that you cannot be in that area when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Living substance-free is a good way to guarantee that there will be other people around you that don't drink, and thus a group of people to do things with, other than drinking. Further, if you're worried about getting a roommate that explores their new-found freedom until 4am every night, this type of living situation may help to prevent that.

Living substance-free doesn't mean that you can never drink or do drugs for all four years of college. Even while living there, you can partake, just off premises, of course. You should feel comfortable on whatever part of the spectrum you fall on, and if that changes throughout the years, that is okay. Substance-free living can be as temporary or permanent as you wish.

2. Join Clubs and Organizations

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The name of the game is meeting people, so joining clubs and organizations is an easy solution. You'll meet people who drink every weekend, ones who rarely drink, and everyone in between. Some of these people you'll like and others will likely annoy you, but sometimes when you meet others who love what you do, you get a squad. Squads that start with a similar interest together, stay together. But even if you just meet one other person, that is one other person to hang with on the weekends.

3. Go To Parties

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Now this idea may not work for everyone, but parties can still be fun without alcohol, as long as you've got the right attitude about it. If you walk into a party and stand in the corner and feel bad that everyone is having more fun than you, you will definitely not have any fun. But if you get on that dance floor, participate in the games, and engage in conversations, you will vastly increase your chances. And if you're worried that others may notice that you're not drinking, you can always have a mixer (fruit juice, lemonade, coke, etc) in your cup without the added booze. However, more than likely they will be happy to have you there, and not care if you are drinking or not.

Finally, going to parties sober does not mean you have to be the designated driver or supervisor, if you don't want to be. Definitely look out for your friends and make sure they are alive and safe, but you don't have to drive them home every weekend or hold their hair back as a puke. Calling an uber and handing them a hair tie is okay. Just because you are sober doesn't mean you have to be the mom or the dad of the group. You are allowed to have fun.

4. Go To Campus-Sponsored Events

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Many campuses will have events going on during the weekends in order to bring the campus together. These could be anything from craft nights to concerts, and because they are sponsored by the school, the chances of a rager are low. Attending these could be squad bonding, a chill night with a friend or two, or an opportunity to meet new people. At the very least you could come home with a tiny cactus named Fred.

5. Learn To Be By Yourself

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One of the biggest lessons to learn is how to be by yourself. Growing up, many of us are taught that being by ourselves means that we are loners or anti-social, so we feel like everything has to be done with someone else. But that is not necessarily true. Going to movies and shows by yourself can be an exhilerating experience. Who cares if you start crying or laugh at awkward times? And sometimes you're going to be laying in your bed at 9pm on a Saturday with the second season of Gilmore Girls streaming on your laptop, and you might have to remind yourself that there is no shame in that. A night with Rory and Lorelei is not a waste.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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