“Are you trying to torture yourself?” When I first brought up this idea to my fellow club-goers, I was met with shock, disgust and most of all the common idea that it simply couldn’t be done. But as the stubborn person I am, I decided to give it a go.
The night in question was one cold, rainy Wednesday. Changing out of my joggers and crocs, I apprehensively put on my jeans and the no-longer white trainers, designated for big nights out, heading for the door.
Upon arrival to the club, the very lengthy queue and having to cough up £8 for entry hits me hard for the first time, never previously questioned when feeling that buzz from the alcohol. But the club is already blasting those classic songs, and I am reluctantly dragged onto the dance floor, pushing through the crowd we begin to dance. Surprisingly, the idea of dancing sober no longer feels strange; I let all my self-conscious thoughts go and allow myself to enjoy the experience. Looking around, it’s only now I am exposed to the realities of clubbing previously missed when wearing the rose-tinted glasses of intoxication. The repeats of the same songs, the elbow to the back of the head, the mixture of unknown substance making my shoes stick to the floor (I don’t even want to know). The night seems to drag on longer than normal until it hits 2 o’clock, I deem this an appropriate amount of time to have completed my experiment, allowing myself to head home. And yes, I did make my 9am lecture.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a cheeky drink, and wouldn’t judge someone for drinking, but the culture where binge drinking is the only way to ‘have a good time’ at university can be isolating. The FOMO experienced when listening to stories from the night before, or the thought of not having this so called ‘university experience’, no longer has to be the case. Waking up the next day, not a hangover in sight myself or the dreaded ‘hangxiety’, but instead with solid memories of the night before. I can confidently say I would do it again. Not only did I remember the whole night, I felt a new sense of confidence in socialising as my full authentic, sober self. It was refreshing. The pressures of university life to drink are everywhere; pub crawls, clubs, society events, the list goes on. It is ingrained in the university lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be the only option (as proven on that fateful Wednesday).
Whether it’s just the one night to prove to yourself you don’t need that drink, or a choice that you stick with because you know that it’s right for you, it is possible!
Virgin Passionfruit Martini Recipe
(An essential for those brave enough to try the sober clubbing experience)
• Passionfruit juice,
• The juice of one lemon,
• 1 egg white,
• 100ml of tonic water/ lemonade (depending on desired sweetness),
• Add passionfruit juice, lemon juice, the egg white into a cocktail shaker and shake until a foam forms and mixture thickens,
• Add the ice and shake again,
• Pour your mixer of choice into the cocktail shaker and gently stir together,
• Pour into a glass and enjoy!