Under 18 / a teetotaller at University?
When I joined university in the fall of 2018, I was under 18 and a teetotaller. If you’re in the same place as I was, then I’m sure you too are plagued by similar worries and fears that I had back then – essentially, FOMO. Social life at university is often conceived as being limited to clubbing and alcohol. Although this can be true for some, it is far from the extent of social activities open at Warwick.
However, during Freshers’ Week, it might seem quite difficult at first to make friends if you’re not legally allowed to/ don’t want to be drinking alcohol or clubbing. One thing I want to say at the very offset is this:
Do not let yourself get pressurised into doing things just because you find that the easy way out. Warwick is a campus that caters to the needs of each and every group of students and u-18s/teetotallers are not ignored here.
In this post, I list some of the many ways you can begin to find people in your boat and make some lasting memories.
- JOIN GROUPS: When you firm your offer, one of the first things I suggest doing is to go on Facebook and find groups and pages by Warwick students. You will inevitably come across multiple links to Facebook and WhatsApp groups for a range of sub-divisions from culture to accommodation. One such group that I joined was the “Under 18 / Teetotaller” group. If there isn’t a group already, go ahead and start your own! You’ll be doing yourself and many others a huge favour. On this group, everyone was constantly planning super fun events (detailed in the next point) that helped me meet tons of new people!
- SOCIAL (ALCOHOL-FREE) ACTIVITIES – Warwick and its surrounding areas are home to several activities that can amount to a fun night out. Some of my favourites include – bowling at Tenpin in Leamington, paintball (Delta Force Paintball in Coventry often has a stall set up on the Piazza), cinemas (Vue in Leamington, Odeon in Coventry), travelling and exploring nearby areas such as Stratford-upon-Avon (a short bus ride to the birthplace of Shakespeare), Warwick Castle, Birmingham or even London.
- SOCIETIES – There are many societies that organise events like game nights and taster sessions that allow you to try something new and test your comfort zones without a drop of alcohol. In my Freshers’ Week, I attended taster sessions in everything from yoga to pole dancing!
- GO TO PREs: Even if you don’t want to go clubbing or can’t, there’s nothing stopping you from grabbing your favourtie non-alcoholic drink and going to the many flat pres before the night out.
Finally, as much as the pandemic has negatively impacted us in a multitude of ways, I see a silver lining for u18s and teetotallers. With a potentially socially distanced Freshers’ Week, it is all the more likely that the University and Students Union will themselves be hosting more events accessible to u-18s and teetotallers.
So, to conclude, I’d like to leave you with one, possibly motivational message – there are alternatives to everything and if there isn’t yet, do others like yourself a favour and make your own! Remember, necessity is simply code for opportunity.
Something else you’re still worried about?
As always, if there is something that this post does not cover that you’d like to know more about, please do get in touch!