Freshers’ Week is a unique time for students – a week long craze scattered with parties, freebies and new friends means it’s a hotspot for social drinking. And as tanking a bevvy or two can be part of the initiation process, it’s important to polish up on drinking dos and don’ts to avoid embarrassing situations/drunk calling your mum at 3am to tell her you ‘lobe her’.
Do: Try new things
Freshers’ Week is all about broadening your horizons, so why not make cocktails with the mature student in your halls who is willing to buy expensive gin? Contrary to expectation, drinking is not imperative in order to have a good time or take part in social events. Having said that, you can admit that a rum and coke (or two) is definitely helpful in loosing you up in a situation where you would otherwise feel daunted/like your hands were being too fidgety.
Don’t: Feel pressured to drink
Most people are aware that the people of Scotland are fond of a drink (understatement of the year) and would happily skip off into a whisky-hazed sunset hand in hand with Ireland (couple of the century). However, if you come from a country where drinking is a much more civilised and sophisticated endeavour (Italy, France, etc.), then you’ll know that you don’t need to get completely smashed to have a good time. And if you don’t drink at all, then you’ll also know that showing off your dazzling personality and cracking a few jokes that you’ve had stored up over winter will be enough to make a good impression.
Do: Take advantage of the drinking culture.
As many social events or clubs can involve or be based around drinking, it’s a great opportunity to make friends with similar interests or explore the city with new people. We’ve all been lost in a new city. There’s nothing that makes me trip awkwardly into a lamppost while constantly murmuring ‘sorry’ (so British) more than not knowing where I’m going. If you don’t know the city very well then going to bars in different quarters of the city is an ideal way of getting to know where things are and discovering the city’s nightlife.
Don’t: Pass out
Try not to get so drunk that you find yourself in a puddle of last night’s lasagne on a street whose name you can’t pronounce. Being safe when drinking is the most important thing. Don’t get me wrong, drinking too much and becoming unintentionally wasted happens to the best of us, but making sure you go home with friends or call a taxi makes the journey back to bed much easier and avoids unpleasant situations.
Do: Look out for your friends
Living in a city means enjoying a bustling, lively cosmopolitan environment, but it also means dealing with the darker sides of city life. Sticky situations are an unfortunate but realistic potential, but having friends looking out for you really helps when you find yourself stuck.
Don’t: Ignore your bank balance
Nights out can be expensive, even those £1 jelly shots add up eventually. Make sure you keep on top of your finances by budgeting accordingly. The great thing about Freshers’ Week is that it’s packed full of giveaways and promos, but this doesn’t mean you can justify spending all your dosh on a round of mojitos on a Saturday night and wake up Sunday morning with a raging hangover and nothing but stale bread to last you until winter.
Do: Know how to sober up.
Drinking lots of water before bed combined with some food (from experience, even chips and cheese will help) is the best way to avoid a hangover, and a day of doing nothing but mulching in your pj’s and watching Jeremy Kyle. As much as we all know to eat fruit and vegetables and get regular exercise, getting enough sleep is important if you’re out the night before a 9am lecture. For the smokey joes out there, if you wake up with a mouthful of yesterday’s ash, munching an orange on the way to class will help replenish the vitamins you lost going to town on a Camel.
Don’t: Mix your drinks too enthusiastically
If your drinks list from the night before went along the lines of 1. Merlot, 2. Gin and Tonic. 3. Guinness, 4. White Russian – then it’s a recipe for, well, severe illness. Avoiding mixing breeds of alcohol can avoid giving birth to a devil of a hangover fill with vomit and regret.
Do: Be sensible
No need to call the fun police, just remember – drinking can be fun but it shouldn’t be tainted with bad decisions and permanent blurred vision. Follow these dos and don’ts and you’ll ace at Freshers’ Festival drinking! In a nutshell: enjoy yourself and don’t be a dick.