Most movies about college life emphasize the partying common in college life. These movies don’t appear to be much of an exaggeration. One study found that more than 80 percent of college students drink alcohol, and almost half reported binge drinking within the past two weeks. To many students, drinking is just what you do in college. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with students of legal drinking age sharing a few drinks with friends, heavy drinking in college can have many negative consequences. It certainly doesn’t help your grades if you’re drinking instead of studying or if you show up to class hungover. Even if you only drink on weekends–which for many college students begin on Thursday night–you may be vulnerable to alcohol poisoning, blackouts, and accidents. College drinking can lead to addiction. 18 to 25 is the prime age range for developing substance use disorders. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you get a pass on physical dependence. College age is also not too young to get treatment and go into recovery. Whether you are trying to stay sober or you just don’t want to spend your college years partying, here are some ways to have fun without alcohol.
Make use of activities.
If the “activities fee” has never stopped your heart, you probably don’t pay your own tuition. Colleges and universities are in a sort of arms race to provide perks for students. These can be anything from a climbing wall at the gym, to bringing top musicians to campus at little or no out-of-pocket cost to students. Since you’ll likely be paying for these perks for the next 20 years or more, you might as well enjoy as many as you can.
Join a club.
Depending on the size of your college or university, there may be literally hundreds of clubs and organizations for every imaginable interest. These may be related to sports, arts, music, campus organizing, games, literature, languages, travel, film, or outdoor activities. These are not only fun, but they help you find a sense of purpose and you make a lot of friends who share your interests and not just your beer.
Squeeze student discounts.
College students often get amazing discounts on everything from athletic events to the local symphony. These discounts are especially valuable if your college or university is in or near a big city. Most college students don’t realize how big these discounts are until they graduate and have to pay full price. Make use of these opportunities to try new things while they’re still cheap. They’ll make far better memories than spending a Saturday night drinking at a frat house for the 20th time.
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