Party week without the booze

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Last week was freshers week at universities up and down the country, a week that used to mean at least five nights of debauched behaviour, powered by cheap booze and very little in the way of nutrition.

But it now seems that consuming copious amounts of alcohol is no longer mandatory in halls of residence and students houses up and down the country.

One of the most staggering statistics I have read in the past week is the one which suggested one in five students don’t touch alcohol at all.

Indeed Hull University ditched the traditional freshers week completely, replacing it with a Welcome Fest, where half the events were booze-free and consisted of speed friending, quizzes and fairs. One of its bars was turned into an ice cream parlour with students shunning Jagerbombs for a 99. Sussex University in Brighton organised events which were largely sans booze, including craft making and yoga classes. Last week I watched a segment on the news about dry university events including dull sounding cafe crawls and I was struck by how sensible everybody appeared to be.

There was nobody throwing up their guts in the potpourri or pinching traffic cones. My initial reaction was to spit out my nightcap and mutter to myself about how boring it all looked but maybe this clean-living generation has the right idea?

Was spending your food money on super-strength ale and losing days to hangovers the most sensible use of our youthful energy?

Probably not. When my generation went into higher education we weren’t saddled with tuition fees, something that costs today’s undergraduates £9,250 a year - no wonder many opt for a clear head when they attend lectures.

I suppose we should really applaud tomorrow’s leaders for taking their education seriously, while at the same time looking after their bodies better than their predecessors did. It could be this nation of ours is in for a bright future with the next generation of workers being able to think more clearly than the last. However, the future looks that bit bleaker for the country’s pub landlords.