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Drinking in England

Travel Forums Europe Drinking in England

1. Posted by hil357 (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I currently in high school in America and am hoping to attend university in England. The only problem is that I don't drink alcohol and I don't want to start and I'm afraid that will put a damper on my social situation. Will people in England think its weird that I don't drink any alcohol? Here I have plenty of friends who don't and we find things to do. I go to concerts and just hang out and have a good time. Will it be awkward to go to a pub if I don't drink any beer or will people not care and I'll still be able to enjoy myself. I just don't want to be labeled as the weird American girl who doesn't drink. And if its relevant, I'm thinking of going up north to Manchester or Sheffield or Warwick, not London.

2. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

there is a big drinking culture in England, and uni students are a part of the drinking culture too. I don't think that there will be too much peer pressure on you to drink, although if you were a guy you might get teased a little every now and then, but nothing sinister or serious. No-one will think you are weird for not drinking. Come here, have a good time, and if you don't drink, so what!

3. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Nah - people won't think you're weird - it'll be fine.

It's more likely to be weird for you in that you'll end up out with really drunk people when you're dead sober, but as long as you can handle that it won't be a prob.

There's usually a few people out not drinking anyway, for driving purposes.

4. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

There are plenty of activities you can get involved in as a student that don't involve pubs or drinking. When you enrol at uni, you have a "freshers week", which is a week to help you get settled, meet people on your course and tutors etc. While for some students this involves lots of partying, but it's also a chance to check out clubs and societies run by the university. There should be a club or society for most interests. If it's sport, cinema, books, theatre, history, art etc. you name it there should be a club/society for it.

It maybe better if you don't drink as you'll have a better time then most people and you'll remember it. First year students have a tendancy to go a little over the top, most will be 18 and have never lived away from home, some may not have even had much contact with the opposite sex (if they've been to a single sex school). So you can guess what happens with some students, they'll drink too much, probably have sex with people they hardly know and may regret it.

Universities in the UK have lots of international students, so you'll get to meet people from all walks of life. I always really liked that aspect of university.

Best of luck with everything. :)

5. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi I moved to Sheffield to go to University 9 years ago. I stayed on and made it my home, and now I am now back at Uni studying again there.

Both Sheffield and Manchester (where my brother went) have a big party culture, particulalry for students, because they are big cities. However, this also means you are in a big city which has a whole load of other things to do than drinking. Sheffield and Manchester are both next to the lovely Peak District National Park, great if you like the outdoors. Both cities have really good sports facilities. Manchester as a very large, very multi-cultural city, has something to offer for everyone, although I would argue Sheffield is friendlier and more personal.

I would recommend a big city like Sheffield or Manchester if you don't drink, because there will be a lot more to do than just the Students Union Bar. I visited a friend at Warwick once. Warwick Uni is set away from town, all on its own campus, just outside Coventry. Although it has a good reputation academically, you have to get a bus to get into the town, and apart from the modern Cathedral, Coventry has little to offer, the Luftwaffer and 1960s architecture saw to that.

Sheffield isn't architecturally great either, but its very leafy and green, and fun, and the people are lovely and friendly!

6. Posted by patience (Full Member 118 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Well im from London and ive gone into pubs and got a glass of orange juice or coke. I drink alcohol too to be fair but its not a big deal if you dont. People wont think your wierd. You might even start to enjoy having a drink. You dont have to drink to the point where you are falling over. My mate from australia, "the drinking nation", came here and would never drink beer. Does now :)

7. Posted by walkabout (Budding Member 39 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

People won't see you as being "weird" - as long as you relax and have a fun time they probably won't, or at least shouldn't care! Although drinking culture in UK is huge (almost as big as it is here in Oz), it's not unusual to see someone drinking Coke or orange juice in a pub. Relax and have a great time! ;)

8. Posted by J_P (Budding Member 9 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

As an Englishman, and indeed a Yorkshireman (from Sheffield!) I'd most certainly recommend Sheffield for you. Not only does it have an amazing location, being quite central, it's easy to travel to ANY UK city by train and shouldn't take too long. It has direct services to Liverpool, Manchester, London, Newcastle and Leeds.

The people of Yorkshire are known for being really down to earth and super friendly. While Manchester is a bit more happening (ie: a more famous clubbing and fashion scene) I'd say Sheffield is a better place to live, the people are generally nicer and will make more of an effort with you. Don't get me wrong though, Manchester is a much more aesthetically pleasing city to look at, it just lacks something, people are a little colder there.

Both cities have a good social scene in terms of gigs, and concerts. Both are major international sporting cities, having two football clubs each and being home to many other major sporting teams etc. Sheffield has skiing facilites etc. Both cities are full of cinemas and theatres. Both have brilliant shopping facilites.

And please don't worry about not drinking, I know a lot of students who don't drink, it's not a big deal. You stick to what you feel comfortable with.

Manchester Met, Uni of Manchester, Sheffield Uni, and Sheffield Hallam - the 4 universities will all have student unions with various boards and groups to bide your time with. If you're a person of faith, you'll find a Christian Union or Muslim Union.

Have a brilliant time, if you need any suggestions on how to fill up your weekends let us know, I'm sure we could all recommend little unknown gems!