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How to Survive University When You Don’t Drink

Did you know that, according to the 2016 figures from the Office for National Statistics, about one in four people in Great Britain aged 16-24 don't drink? If this applies to you, and you're a bit worried about fitting in at university because of it, I’m writing this to reassure you that you can have an amazing time at Sheffield without ever needing to drink. There are so many amazing activities to choose from: keep reading to find out more…

If getting up and moving is your thing, then the Residence Life sport programme is a dream come true. For those who like to get fit in a team, there’s lacrosse, hockey, football, touch rugby and even Quidditch! Personally, I prefer the more individual fitness activities but the choice is still immense. Pilates, Zumba, swimming, bouldering… The highlight for me has been Social Running – I never thought I could enjoy running but it’s now one of the best bits of my week. I highly recommend taking a look at the Residence Life section on the Sport Sheffield website and seeing what could become the best part of YOUR week.

Sport not really your cup of tea? Then it’s a good job that the Students’ Union has hundreds of societies! They literally span the whole alphabet from A to Z, which means that there should be something for everyone. University is a great time to try something new, so why not learn a language, pick up a new hobby or just get to know other people in your department. You can find a full list of societies on the Students' Union website.

If you want to dip your toes in before committing to anything, then Give it a Go might be just what you're looking for. You can find the Autumn programme online. The best bit is that you can get money off events over £1.50 with your Residence Life key fob! In the first week of term, I went to a Give it a Go Bunting Making Workshop, hosted by StitchSoc. Even though my sewing skills are atrocious, I still had a great time and my (wonky) bunting is proudly hanging on my bedroom pin board in my flat.


If none of the above takes your fancy, there’s lots more for you to try:

  • Take a walk on the wild side with a trip to the Peak District! It might be a little cold this time of year but the scenery will still be absolutely stunning. I really enjoy walking on Ashop Moor when the heather is out.
  • Explore the history of Sheffield in one of its museums or see some beautiful artwork in one of its galleries – I love Weston Park Museum (and it’s free!), but there’s also Kelham Island Museum, the Graves Gallery and the Millennium Gallery to check out.
  • If you'd like to give something back to the local community, volunteering is a great way to make friends, add something to your CV and feel good. Volunteering at my previous university has led directly to my Masters, so I can really recommend getting involved! There is a list of opportunities available to browse on the Sheffield Volunteering website.

I hope this has been reassuring - Sheffield is packed with amazing opportunities to have fun whilst staying sober, so I encourage everyone to get stuck in and see what you can discover.


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