For many students, drinking alcohol is closely associated with fun. For young adults who have yet to experience the negative aspects of drinking alcohol, the idea of drinking while going to a party, game, or club enhances the experience. What they overlook is how much of an impact drinking too much can impact their academic performance.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at how to have fun without drinking.
How to Have Fun Without Drinking
Sixty percent of college students engaged in heavy alcohol use just in the past month, according to a recent report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH).
Students drink for a variety of reasons, including stress relief, social belonging, and boredom. This can quickly spiral into addiction and students will experience the negative effects of drinking alcohol.
Drinking isn’t required to have fun. It may be fun to explore at first, but drinking too much in college may lead to life-changing consequences.
Drinking too much has been connected to sexual and physical assaults, injuries, arrests, and even death. All because a student thought drinking would help them have fun. In fact, most will admit that drinking too much alcohol makes them feel sick, or hungover, not fun.
In this article, we’re going to explore some helpful ways to take your mind off alcohol, how to be social without drinking, and some non-drinking hobbies to explore as a way to have fun without drinking.
Go to a Party
Yes, you can go to a party and skip drinking alcohol. Pick a friend to be your sober friend for the evening. While at the party, observe everyone who drinks alcohol. Notice the changes in their behaviors and speech.
Watch them when the alcohol has taken over and they are making bad decisions and acting wild.
Take note that this is what you will look like too if you drink too much alcohol. So, go to a party, but instead of drinking, be a designated driver and help everyone else get home safely.
You don’t have to skip parties in order to have fun without alcohol, you just need to hone your mindset and develop the ability to stand by it. It’s not easy saying no to friends or people you hope to become friends with, but it is possible with a little practice.
Each month pick a hobby with a group of your peers. Rotate who gets to choose the hobby so everyone has a chance to introduce their favorite. And for one month, do activities related to the hobby.
For instance, you can take an art class, create a healthy yard, visit a museum, go rock climbing, learn to play the ukulele, support a local charity or take action in your community. There are hundreds of things you can do that are much more fun than drinking alcohol.
Comedy Movie Marathon
Laughter has been shown to boost dopamine and serotonin in the brain and gut. Meaning, it makes you feel happy. And in this case, the more you do it, the better it is.
Watching comedies is one way to laugh. And when watching with a group of people, you may find your laughter is contagious. Attend a comedy show, watch movies, or tell jokes. You can even take it one step further and create your own comedy show.
Instead of bingeing on alcohol, binge on YouTube videos. Once you start watching one video, a minute turns into an hour, which turns into several hours of video humor.
Attend a Game
Sports in college is a big deal and most colleges have multiple teams, from football, basketball and soccer to swimming, wrestling and tennis. These are just a few of the teams looking for supporters with school spirit.
If you can’t go to a game, get a group of friends and start your own game. And don’t limit yourself to athletic games. Board games and card games can be just as fun. Playing Twister as a young adult is a lot more fun than when you were a juvenile.
Throw a poker tournament, go to Bingo with the locals, or watch game show marathons. There are many options when it comes to games, all of which offer more fun than alcohol.
Take a Day Trip
Almost every town in every State has some type of roadside attraction or local treasure. They may have a national treasure like a monument, hiking trail or natural wonder. Rock climbing, fishing, malls, outlets, festivals, and fairs are just a few more ideas.
It is sad that many students live in a college town for four or more years yet fail to get out and explore the area. There are many fun adventures just waiting to be had within a community. Get a group of friends and be tourists for a day.
You may even decide to drive to a surrounding city for the day. From shopping at specialty stores to picnicking at a national park, there are numerous places to visit and explore in a day and without alcohol.
Some of you may choose t to become adventure guides. Video your activities and post them to social media. You may become the go-to people for advice from other college students looking for fun without alcohol.
Join a Sober Group
Most campuses have groups established specifically for students who want to have fun without drinking. They get together and take hikes, go to movies, host tailgate parties and even go camping. They do all the things others are doing, only without the alcohol.
You can also join a peer-to-peer mentoring program, which introduces you to peers who can help guide you toward your goals based on their own, similar experience. If you find it difficult to say no to friends, you may also want to consider exploring sober living college residences, which partner you with other students interested in maintaining their sobriety and having fun without alcohol.
It is important to know that fun comes from your internal processes as well as what is happening externally. If you have a positive attitude about attending an event without alcohol, you are more likely to experience fun without alcohol.
Finally, if you find it difficult to stop drinking at parties or events, seek support from counselors who can design a program to help you have fun without alcohol.
Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST