I survived Dry January as a Newcastle student and here’s everything I learned

Not that anybody truly cares


When I think of Dry January, I automatically associate it with yummy mummies, dachshund-owners and the same people who move to Clapham after graduation. Nothing wrong with any of these things, of course, but at the same time you’ve got to ask: Why on earth would you inflict a month of stone cold sobriety onto yourself? Surely doing CrossFit at the weekends is torture enough. Either way, it wasn’t long before I caved into the societal pressures of this annual FAD and decided to take part. After all, if I couldn’t beat these detox do-gooders, I may as well join them. And so it begun…a month full of discipline, extreme boredom and enough alcohol-free gin to last an apocalypse.

Thankfully I spent the majority of the month back at home with my parents who were also suffering from the booze blues and so temptation didn’t really sink in. It also helps that I live in the middle of nowhere with the only good pub being a car journey away. Anywho, I did end up surviving and here’s everything I learnt from the experience:

You’ll be in denial for the first week

Much like grief, there are many different stages to going sober and you’ll likely start off by being in denial. Soon after, you’ll move to a state of anger and depression, before finally coming to terms with your fate.

Gordon’s 0.0 per cent Gin is a game changer

When I tell you that Gordon’s alcohol-free gin is revolutionary, I mean it. Looking back, maybe I’d already forgotten the taste of real gin, however, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. 10/10, will be going in my basket again.

You’ll quickly come to the realisation that you’re quite dull

The word “dull” terrifies me and I would probably die on the spot if someone ever described me this way. Sadly, however, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was the most boring version of myself this month. Sure, technically you don’t need alcohol to have a good time, but the people who say that are born-extroverts.

Now, because I live in quite an isolated area, I didn’t have to worry too much about boring someone to death. However, if I did have to interact with a stranger for more than five minutes sober, I probably would’ve asked them to smack me over the head with a shovel.

Your sleep schedule will be so much better

*Rolls eyes*

I know everyone goes on about the benefits of a sober night’s sleep, but I can’t preach it enough. It’s like the complete opposite of a Thursday morning: You wake up without hangxiety, there’s a double rainbow outside your window and you don’t need to worry about any club photos resurfacing because you stayed in all night. Doesn’t that sound like heaven?

There’s only so many times you can say ‘I’m doing Dry Jan’

If I could slap the person I was last month, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Granted, it felt good to be on a high horse for a change. However, I don’t condone my behaviour whatsoever. Why, just why did I feel the need to declare my sobriety to the world (and Newcastle)? Was I trying to put a target on my back? I’m not sure and for those around me, I don’t think I’ll be participating again.