You don’t have to drink at a college party if you don’t want to. Some people choose to forgo alcohol for a night or for extended periods due to personal beliefs, health reasons, or just because they aren’t into it. If you do decide to opt out, there’s no reason it should affect your social life unless you allow it to.
Try some of these tips to keep the party going without skipping a beat:
1. Be in charge of your own beverages
Pour your own drinks so you know what’s in them, and mix up something tasty and alcohol-free. It could be as basic as ginger ale or something fancier, like a fun mocktail! If you’re nervous, add an adaptogenic (we have plenty!). Nobody will question you, and you won’t have a headache the next day. It’s a win-win!
2. Find something to do.
Some people go to parties with the intention of drinking as much as possible. Since that’s not your game tonight, give yourself another focus. See if you can finally start a conversation with that person you keep bumping into in the elevator. Show off your moves on the dance floor. Play DJ for a while and take requests — a great way to get to know people! Make friends with a total stranger, and earn bonus points if she was looking a little lonely. Give yourself a foreign accent for the night. Relax! If others are drinking, they won’t notice if you say something awkward. Might as well cut loose!
3. Choose your parties wisely, and exit before the BS.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the people around you, don’t be afraid to call it a night and head out. College is too short to spend it with people who make you feel bad about your choices. Also know when to leave, the silly downturn of a party will be obvious when you're sober. You get the fun without the fallout.
4. Be confident.
If you are confident (or if you at least fake it well), no one else will see it as a problem. Tell people you’re all set, or you don’t feel like it, or you’re just hydrating right now and maybe you’ll grab one in a minute. You don’t have to tell people you refuse to drink. Just make the whole thing a non-issue.
Deciding to skip the alcohol and the possible bad decisions and the slaughter of brain cells, may not go over well with everyone on campus. But we get it and we've got you! The Sober curious trend is on the rise and you are probably far from alone in this really healthy decision to ditch the booze.