By Nel Roden, Second Year English
Whether you’re exclusively a non-drinker or simply looking to meet new people at University outside of Bristol’s various pubs and clubs, look no further, because Bristol SU has arranged a plethora of wholesome and inclusive events for those looking to socialise in an alcohol-free environment.
The drinking culture at university can often be a daunting prospect, especially if drinking is not your thing. Although most bars and pubs offer alcohol-free options, it is important that students have a wide choice of places to meet each other that do not centre around drinking. For this reason, the Student Union’s Sober Social offers a perfect opportunity for new students to mingle.
The Sober Social
Hosted at Senate House, this event will be the perfect occasion to relax, socialise and enjoy some non-alcoholic drinks and snacks during the evening. Despite the name, the Sober Social is not exclusively for non-drinkers. If you’re looking to step out of your comfort zone and meet people without the influence of alcohol, or for a casual evening to break up the intensity of Freshers’ week, then this is the perfect chance to do so!
5km Social Run
Or perhaps a casual evening isn’t for you and you’re looking for something a bit more active during the daytime. Well, there are plenty of social sports events on offer too.
If you’re interested in running and live in Stoke Bishop or the Harbourside, Bristol SU has arranged a 5km social run for students of any level or experience. While this is a great opportunity to meet new people who share your sporting interests, it is also a brilliant way to explore the area surrounding your accommodation. Whether it’s through the city’s picturesque harbour, or around the infamous greenery of the Downs, you’re guaranteed some scenic surroundings while you mingle with other freshers.
Clifton Café Crawl
Sports activities aren’t for everyone, but not to worry! If you’re looking to explore Bristol’s independent café scene, or just fancy a wholesome alternative to a pub crawl, then you may want to try the SU’s Clifton Café Crawl.
Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur, or just interested in meeting new people, this event is the ideal opportunity to familiarise yourself with Clifton’s buzzing atmosphere. This is also the time to make note of Clifton’s best coffee spots to ensure you’re full of suggestions for when friends and family visit Bristol!
Widening participation mingles and meet-ups
Or perhaps you’re looking to meet students who share similar life experiences to your own. Moving to university can be overwhelming, especially when you may not see yourself represented in the general student population. That is why the SU has arranged events for black, trans, disabled, LGBTQ+ and widening participation students to mingle. As non-drinking events, these are inclusive opportunities for students to meet each other in a casual environment and to connect with the SU to find out what support is on offer during your time at Bristol.
Additionally, the SU offers a Multifaith Network Mingle for students of faith to meet other students who share their religious beliefs. This is also a chance to meet students who share a different faith, and to experience the religious diversity at Bristol University.
These events are also opportunities to discover societies who will be offering a multitude of events throughout the rest of the academic year, so you can stay connected with the friends you make and continue to meet new people.
Events for activists
Bristol is known for its campaigning and activism—whether it be environmental, political, or social, students at Bristol do not shy away from the opportunity to get involved. If you’re looking to connect with students who are interested in making real change in a sober setting, the SU has several events on offer.
With groups such as the Sustainability Network, Volunteering and Fundraising Network and How to Make Change at Bristol SU holding meet-ups, there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved in. As non-drinking events, they are inclusive to all and a great chance to get stuck in with some of the University’s most impactful societies, meet other like-minded students, and be involved in making real change during your time at university.
If you’re a non-drinker preparing for Freshers' week your opportunities to experience university life and culture are far from limited. With the array of events offered by the SU, there's a chance to get involved in any and all areas.
For dates, locations, and more information on all of the non-drinking events offered by the SU, head to the Bristol SU website!
Featured Image: Vinay Nair