Study finds students are advocating for and practising lower alcohol consumption

Freshers week: a fortnight popularly known for heavy drinking, partying, and ”getting blackout drunk, making friends, and not getting judged for it.”

The drinking culture associated with university provides a wide range of wine filled occasions worthy of head splintering hangovers.

Nevertheless, according to the National Union of Students, the demand for alcohol-free university events and residential halls is on the rise, with almost a quarter of students actively advocating for the cause.

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A survey completed by 2,215 undergraduate university students explored student’s behaviour, attitudes, and perceptions towards alcohol use.

This survey found that one in five students don’t drink alcohol at all and recognized a shift in drinking habits amongst students and the perceptions of alcohol in relation to their peers and selves.

Two-thirds of students strongly believe that excessive alcohol consumption is widely accepted because it is the “easiest way to fit in.” “I think it can be super toxic and foster casual alcoholism without anyone even realizing,” says one student. 

While plenty of students are still regularly going out and dropping money on tequila shots, the typically regarded stereotype of students spending the majority of their time getting wasted is getting further and further from reality.

NUS claims that the financial pressures of students are leading to a shift in students’ drinking habits.

Nevertheless, universities are stating that a wide range of factors are leading the students decreased drinking indulgence. An increased awareness of health, wider diversity of faiths, and the rise of alternative sources of entertainment should be taken into account when looking into the drinking habits of students.

Despite this research, 79 percent of students still believe that getting drunk is a “right of passage” and a massive part of university culture. A mere one in ten university students are aware of responsible drinking activities and campaigns on their campus.

The NUS vice president of welfare, Eva Crossan states, “it is clear that students’ drinking habits have changed with a comparative section of the student population not drinking at all. While many students are making active decisions about their drinking, it is concerning that university life is still strongly associated with excessive alcohol consumption.”

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Soundcloud Image taken by Jillian Keith

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