I Don’t Drink: What’s It’s Like To Always Be The Sober Person At The Party

Student and STELLAR intern Rachel Muckley talks about what it's like to be the girl who doesn't drink at college.

Cocktails at a party

I’m 20-years-old and I haven’t had a drinkĀ in almost three years.

Like most people, I’d a handful of boozy Saturday nights out when I was 18, but there was nothing that really made me ‘want’ to drink, if you get me. It was a ‘sure I will for the sake of it’ kinda situation, but within a few months, I’d decided that I’d never drink again. The reason? It was both a mixture of not liking the taste and having a negative complex about it that forced me to ditch booze for good.

It’s nights out that are the worst.

In the early days, it wasn’t such a big deal to people because I was barely of the legal age anyway. That all changed when I went to college though. I learned quickly not to introduce myself like, “Hello, my name is Rachel and I don’t drink.” God no. I got fed up of hearing the response: “What? Really? Like nothing at all? Ever? Really?” Trust me, it gets mind-numbingly repetitive after a while.

It’s nights out that are the worst. The words that come to mind are isolation, anticipation, and lost. As a person who gets anxious, going out to clubs and bars is not the most relaxing of activities. If you can imagine being stuck in a dark box; dead heat, having to dance to ‘boom boom boom’ for forever without feeling the slightest bit ‘boozed up’, all I can say is: welcome to my world.

The thing about not drinking is that I’m categorised as an outsider because of this one tiny aspect of my life.

On the other hand, I’ve had some great nights – but they’ve been very dependent on good music and my friends maintaining their wits. These are few…


The thing about not drinking is that I’m categorised as an outsider because of this one tiny aspect of my life. Because, realistically it’s generally not a thing that Irish people don’t drink, and unless as a nation, our attitude towards it somehow changes, I can’t imagine I’ll experience a less surprised response to my not wanting to indulge.

Moving forward, knowing that I won’t drink even a flute of Champagne for the rest of my life, sits just fine with me. To be honest, it’s not a thing that crosses my mind day-to-day and I don’t consider it an issue by any means.

In college, my awareness of it has been heightened – but I’ve always expected that. I’ve made my peace with it, and I’ve always said that if I can make it through college without giving in to my peers, then I’ll make it all the way for sure.

By Rachel Muckley