How to do an alcohol free Freshers!

Alcohol and freshers. They go together like popcorn and films, England and rain, UEA and concrete. But what if you don’t drink? Here are some handy tips on how to make the most of Freshers’ Week sober.

Establish early on that you don’t drink – if you make this clear when people are sober, they’re less likely to question or pressure you when they’re drunk later in the pub. Give reasons if you want to, but honestly, people should just accept that it’s your decision. Next, learn some killer mocktail recipes for pre-drinks. A fun and simple one to try is combining lime juice, mint and ginger beer into a delicious virgin mojito. Also, track down where you can buy alternatives to the ever present lemonade. The Tesco next to the market in the centre of Norwich and Morrisons both stock a wide variety of alcohol free beers and ciders; Becks, Fosters and Kopparberg all have tasty offerings. Morrisons also sell alcohol free wine and pre-bottled mocktails. Drinking games are an inevitable part of pre-drinks that can seem a little alienating if you’re not getting drunk. You can either sit back and record the carnage for posterity, act as a referee (useful in games such as beer pong) or offer to take alternative forfeits in place of a shot. If you don’t mind spicy food you could eat some chillies(though watch the intensity of these!) or alternatively scoff a few hideously sour sweets. Before leaving, make it clear to your flatmates that you won’t be looking after everyone, just because you’re the sober one: unless of course you don’t mind! When you finally make it out, there are a few pubs and bars that also serve a variety of alcohol-free drinks. Weatherspoons serve alcohol-free beer and cider and Vodka Revs has a mocktails menu. So you won’t be stuck drinking coke and lemonade for the rest of the evening!

Alternatively, you could suggest activities other than clubbing. There’s a bowling alley at Riverside that has an arcade attached. The cocktails here have been described as not deserving of their titles, which should be a good incentive to stay sober! There is also a laser quest in the centre of Norwich that has offers for students, if running around in the dark shooting at your new flatmates sounds like the perfect bonding experience. If you want to give peoples’ wallets a rest as well as their livers you could always organise a movie night with your flatmates. This will not only give you a well-deserved break from the near constant partying that is Freshers’ Week, but it will also provide a handy insight into the film tastes of the people that you’re now living. Getting to know each other doesn’t always have to involve alcohol!

Hopefully these tips will help you to enjoy a sober Freshers’ Week that you, unlike all the people who will be drinking, will remember clearly for the rest of your life.


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January 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on Concrete.Editor@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.