The ‘university experience’ doesn’t just mean drinking and parties. This might be surprising to some, but it’s okay not to drink at university. Here are some of my tips on how to enjoy university with friends when you don’t drink alcohol.

1. Join a society

Joining a society is a great way to make friends with people that aren’t on your course. It’s great because you will all share a similar interest. So whether it’s D&D, basketball or having your own student radio show, you’ve always got something to talk about. Many societies separate their social events into drinking and non-drinking activities, so there’ll always be an option for you. There are lots of different societies at the University of Salford that you can see here. Or you can start your own !

2. Movie night

Delicious popcorn, fizzy drinks and lots of snacks. Why not cozy up and host a movie night? My personal go to is Wild Child with a hot chocolate. This is a great plan for a first night with your flatmates. Who doesn’t love a cosy night in! Alternatively, head out to one of the many cinemas in Manchester to catch the latest blockbuster. Did you know that John Lester, Eddie Coleman and Peel Park Quarter all have cinema rooms? So, why not invite the neighbors for a chick flick and keep your pjs on because you won’t have far to go.

3. Enjoy coffee with friends

A pub crawl can be over-rated – the majority of the night is shouting to try and talk to your friends because the music is too loud, so it might sound far more tempting to relax in a coffee shop with chill music, great company and good vibes. It’s the perfect atmosphere to feel comfortable and really get to know someone. With Manchester city centre right on our doorstep, there are plenty of coffee shops open late. My personal favourite is Chapter One, half-café half-bookshop and open until 21:00. Check out my blog on the best coffee spots near campus.

If you’re an international student, you can also enjoy a free cup of coffee at one of our weekly international café sessions. Our weekly social sessions promote peace, cohesion, and cultural diversity. It’s not always just about coffee, head to the Students’ Union’s website to find an upcoming event.

4. Go clubbing

Photo Credit – Charles Leek

You can still go to the pub or clubbing sober, and actually I prefer it! There is no greater feeling than waking up the next morning with no beer fear only the good memories that you can actually fully remember. You still get to enjoy all the good things about clubbing like dancing, watching your friends embarrass themselves with pick up lines and enjoy that delicious takeaway at 4am. When I go out, I often order a tonic water and everybody thinks its a cheeky G&T when really it’s just the T. This avoids all the questions and shock that comes from saying you don’t drink… scandal I know !

5. Get fit

Becoming healthy in your body and mind will impact both your personal and academic life by making you a more happy, positive person. You don’t need tequila to grow your self confidence, try a spin class instead. Our Sports Centre offers discounted memberships for students. Find a gym buddy and hit that booty blast class or go on your own and find one there!

6. Host game nights

Get competitive and organise a game night with board games or card games. A round of Rummy or Articulate is a fantastic way to bond with flatmates and coursemates. You can also pair it with a potluck meal where friends bring their favourite homemade foods to share.

So, there you go – it IS possible to have fun without the booze. You can have the university experience without the next morning regrets. Let me know in the comments your favourite non-alcoholic activities to do at university.