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When I was 18-years-old, I went off to university and had the time of my life. I met loads of new people and formed new friendships. I got invited to lots of parties. I had a laugh. I loved my time at university, it was an experience that I wouldn’t change for the world, but looking back I did drink a bit too much while I was there.


From the moment I arrived, I was sucked into the drinking culture of university life. We’d go out most nights in my fresher year, start pre-drinking at around 8 pm, playing games like ring of fire as we’d go, and then we’d head out at 11 pm already drunk to dance and drink some more. We’d have a great time, but the question is should we really of drink so much so often?


Looking back, I would say that no, as students my housemates and I drank way too much, dangerous amounts in fact. If I could go back and do it all again, I would definitely make some changes in terms of my drinking habits and swap my cocktails for mocktails, or at least, some of them.



What are the dangers of drinking too much?


Aside from the dangers of doing something silly because you’ve got too much alcohol in your system, there are lots of other dangers of drinking too much on a regular basis. The first of which is that if you drink a lot on a regular basis, you could become addicted to alcohol and end up in a rehabilitation center undergoing therapy and treatment. Another is that you could damage your body – alcohol is a drug and harms the body, hence why you feel so rough the morning after drinking a lot. Then there’s the fact that you could put yourself in a dangerous situation because when you drink your judgement is seriously impaired.


How can you cut back?


Now, I’m not saying don’t drink at all; I know that is unrealistic. What I’m saying is to be mindful of how much and how often you’re drinking. Instead of having cocktails every time you go out, swap between cocktails and mocktails. A great rule to live by is that for every alcoholic drink you have, also have a glass of water or a soft drink. That way you alternate between the two and don’t end up drinking too much. Another option is to set yourself a limit such as that you will only drink three nights a week and no more than that. Cutting back takes time and adjustment, especially when you’re a student and are surrounded by drinking culture, but it is possible.



Why should you reduce what you’re drinking?


You may think that drinking a lot is just another part of university life, and it can be, but it can also come with some serious consequences. Having a couple of drinks and a laugh is one thing, drinking so much you pass out is completely another and it’s important to realise that. Unless you want to end up with a drinking problem, a liver problem, or failing your degree because you’re always hungover, you need to be mindful of the amount of alcohol you’re putting in your body.


Cocktails are delicious, there’s no two ways about it, but so are mocktails. I love mocktails because they taste just as good as cocktails and I don’t have a sore head in the morning.