Fun mocktails, a clear head and healthy bank balance - Donegal student Niamh Shields outlines the best benefits of an alcohol-free night out.

College Corner columnist Niamh Shields

It can be argued that some students our age believe that to have the best night out, alcohol is a necessity, but not always!  

Here are the benefits and tips of having a sober night out!  

Be Creative:

There is nothing worse than standing at a pre-drink with your diet coke and everyone else loving life. So, I decided not to be the boring one and I make both alcoholic cocktails for my pals and mocktails for myself when not drinking.

I went to the DCU Sober Soc where the students hosted a Mocktail event. learned so many cool recipes! My favourite Mocktail would be the Virgin Margarita. Every pre-drink with the gals I get so creative and most of my friends decide to take my sober path and crave one of my mocktails.

Trendsetter, I know. Jokes aside, if mocktails aren’t your thing, you can also avail of alcohol-free beer, tastes the exact same just no drunk side effects or sore head the next day.


If you are feeling a little bit sad that you’re not drinking, and the others are, think of the money you will save! Alcohol is so expensive, especially in the city. Plus, the invention of tap on bank cards, I see so many drunk students go extremely hard with that in nightclubs.

Think of it this way, you can afford a taxi, and a marvellous Dominos, Hillbillys, Four Lanterns, whatever tickles your fancy and won’t be waking up looking at your purse with regret or sadness.

You can still let yourself loose:

Okay so all the dolls are drunk and dancing so much that you are scared they are going to fall on the dancefloor, so what? You can still let loose and boogie the night away!

Myself and my other friend, Niamh, once were so excited on an 18th we decided to run around the dance floor pretending to be athletes, well Niamh is one, I’m not. We both were sober but had great craic. Everyone around you is drunk, they more than likely won’t remember or care for that matter.

Having fun, that’s the main thing, nothing else should matter.

No Hangover Blues:

One of the reasons I wouldn’t be a big drinker is due to the hangovers, every student’s enemy and weakness.

I sometimes end up feeling so sick the next day or just really sad. I just waste the following day binge watching Netflix, cringing at my snapchat stories or listening to sad songs all day. No thank you.

When I do a sober night out, I’m ready for the next day and ready to ridicule my friends about their drunken antics and I am oh so happy, it’s great!

Don’t feel pressured:

It’s college. Alcohol will always present. However, it doesn’t mean you should be pressured to feel the need to drink. We are all somewhat mature now, and honestly people don’t mind if you drink or not and if they do, I highly recommend you find yourself a new group to go out with.

As long as you’re safe, happy and having fun, that’s all matters. Whether it be with alcohol or not, that is entirely up to you and you only!