What Is Sober Clubbing Really Like? Three Freshers Share Their Experiences

What Is Sober Clubbing Really Like?
Medicine RHLU

Could you face the sticky floors, perpetual pushing and tinnitus-inducing music of student clubs without a "vodka blanket"? These three freshers have all embraced the sober clubbing experience, with very different results.

Emin Akbay, 18, is a fresher at Sussex University where he is studying biomedical science.

"Everyone was shocked I'd never been drunk or clubbing before"

"I went clubbing for the first time ever two weeks ago. I don't drink because I do a lot of cycling and the effects of drinking don't appeal to me, but I thought I'd go along to experience what clubbing is like - you can't really call yourself a student until you've been clubbing.

"I was the only non-drinker and everyone was a bit shocked and surprised I'd never drunk or clubbed before, but they're a great bunch so it was fine.

"I think we left the club at 2am, I'm told it normally gets quite crazy after then. We left just after people were starting to get a bit silly - I hadn't seen that side of Brighton before. I didn't realise how much people prey on each other when they're out. That was a bit of a new experience.

"I definitely felt more aware of everything because I was sober. I sat on the bus when everyone was singing and shouting and playing these games that I interacted with, but it was a bit weird seeing it from almost an outsider's point of view."

Ellen Johnson is a first year theatre student at the University of Leeds.

"I get made fun of for being boring"

"I'm not a big drinker because when I drink I fall asleep. I used to drink loads and would get really tired and not have fun. Now that I don't drink, I enjoy myself more and enjoy the music more on a night out.

"I think drinking is all to do with peer pressure and I don’t get peer pressured. I’ve been sober clubbing ever since I got to uni; I’m known in my crowd for not drinking and although I get made fun of for being "boring" and whatever, at the end of the day I remember what happened on the night out and I actually get a raw experience rather than a fake one.

"The effects of alcohol are different on different people and on me they’re not great. I don’t like how when you’re out and you’ve had a really heavy night, personalities change and true colours come out.

"I would recommend sober clubbing to anyone. I have a great time and can wake up in the morning not feeling awful.

"I always stay right till the end of the night. I love clubbing and the scene in Leeds is absolutely amazing. I just don’t enjoy the cheap vodka everyone drinks, which tastes like nail polish."

A student who has asked to remain anonymous is a 19-year-old fresher at Royal Holloway in London.

"I wouldn't do it again"

"It was a club on campus called Medicine [pictured]. I didn't have any money and sober clubbing was on my bucket list of things to do before I leave uni, so embraced it.

"I went out with my friendship group but I was the only sober one. They thought it was hilarious that I was sober but I didn't really enjoy myself. I've always been one of those people who's said you don't need alcohol to have a good time... but maybe sometimes you do.

"I was the odd one out; they were finding things funnier than I was, I was noticing things that maybe I didn't want to notice on the dance floor. You're so aware when you're sober - you think everyone's noticing you and there's a lot of pushing and shoving whereas normally when you're drunk you don't really care.

"I stayed until about an hour before everyone else left - I just got bored and made my way back. Before I went out I thought I'd really stick it out till the end and I was quite disappointed with myself.

"Unless my whole friendship group were going to do a sober night, I wouldn’t do it again."

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