So since we’re well into freshers season at uni at the moment, we thought we’d reflect back on some of the god awful things we used to drink at uni. After all, it is national punch day!

The Go To Drinks:

These were your regular pre-drink favourites, your that’ll do drinks or your get smashed quick drinks…

1) Strongbow and Orange Squash

Now, this was before Strongbow had released Strongbow dark fruit; it was the days of proper cider and black. However, me being the tragic human being I am, experimented with different squashes to make sure I had the right flavor to go with my poison. I acquired the name ‘moonface’ for my bright red complexion, little did I know until years later that I was actually allergic to Strongbow.

2) Vodka and Roller Cola

We all experimented with Vodkat and Tesco own, but you knew you were scraping the barrel of pre-drinks when you came back with some sort of unheard fizzy drink – maybe you went for mango tropical berry burst to try and take away the taste of paint stripper vodka. Or god forbid, you went for the roller cola that has more sugar than actual coke!

3) 3 Hammers

The drink for when you couldn’t afford Strongbow. The 3 litre, get the job done drink of 7% strength predrinks. Oh it was awful – and Christ on a bike.. the hangover to follow was worse.

The Treat Yo’Self Drinks

1) MD20-20

Does anyone remember this? Bright orange bottle – usually on the top of the shelf at bargain booze? It was some bizarre spirit that no one really understood what it was or what on earth to drink with it. It did seem like an upgrade from the usual drinks though because you paid £7 for it.

2) Caribbean Twist

VK, Blue stuff… the drink for when your taste buds hadn’t quite moved on from your Smirnoff ice in the park. They were 2 for £4 so I don’t know why I’m complaining. It reminded you of your early drinking days and it was easier and cheaper to drink than adult drinks.

3) Homemade Cocktails

Mainly sex on the beach because we couldn’t afford anything other than vodka and peach schnapps to go into it. You wouldn’t quite know the volumes so you would just pour it into a plastic bowl and hope for the best. It had all the potential of a classy night but it’s just not really worked out like that. Your housemate’s throwing up in the toilet, and you don’t know what to do because you’re too drunk to work out which one your housemate is….

The ‘Out Out’ Drinks

1) Blue Pints

No one is entirely sure what’s in them. They taste like rainbows and make you see rainbows too. There’s rumors that the bar doesn’t use real vodka – no one knows what that means or what that is but it’s cheap so you’re okay with it. It also make a cracking picture because the blue makes your tongue aqua and you just think that’s awesome.

2) Tequila

Sent from the depths of hell to make sure that there is a 90% chance of you throwing up at the end of the night. Obviously because you’re out out, you have to ask for the salt and the lime for the full experience. You wonder why on earth anyone puts themselves through it afterwards.

3) Snake Bite

Half cider, larger with a bit of black current. What a potion created in the mighty North – to respect tradition, you decide to try it. It’s not that bad – it’s also not that good and you didn’t think that you could feel this bloated after one drink.

An idea…

I’ve taken you through the various punches and potions that we used to drink through our ‘down it freshaaaa’ days. Now we’re a bit older, we drink wine, G+T’s, vodka lime and soda because we’re so past those uni days.

Actually that’s a lie. We have a huge drinking culture here in the UK and the main purpose of most nights is to get drunk. That’s all well and good, but when you have mental health issues such as depression and anxiety – drinking can be the ultimate fuck you to our medication and our self care methods. It messes with us in a way that we can’t really control.. unless we don’t drink.

Now there is a real movement amongst some young people to not drink. It’s catching on – people realize they don’t have to be drinking to spend time with people, to go to the pub and have a laugh. I’ve got a few friends trying it – I’ve not made the plunge yet myself.

When one of my friends started looking into non-alcoholic drinks, she found 0% prosecco, low % wine, lots of cocktail combinations and beers that would mean that people wouldn’t even know that your not drinking.

It makes for a different type of night, and you shouldn’t have to hide if you’re not drinking but if you’re like me – I have many friends that would argue for just the one. If you can grab yourself a 0% drink that looks and tastes like an alcoholic drink, who can complain?

Have an amazing freshers everyone – I’m sure you’ll have a great time and find your own punches and potions! Stay safe and remember, there’s other options if it all becomes too much.

Love always,

Lauren & the Stop The World Team x

Positive of the day: After not seeing my family since Easter, I’m finally going home this weekend!