Partying a bit too hard lately? Worried about your spending? Missed some lectures and starting to panic? Think your socialising might be getting a bit out of hand? Not sure if you can catch up now?

University is not just about getting a degree. It involves mixing with and getting to know a whole bunch of new people and coping by yourself, maybe for the first time. To boost your confidence and to try and fit in, you might find you're boozing more than you ever did at home.

If you drink more than you can cope with, you can find yourself missing classes and falling behind. Catching up can start to seem difficult. Partying a lot can hit your bank balance hard. And it might not only leave you feeling a bit rubbish, but if you're drinking a lot, the chances are you're not looking so hot either. You might be more inclined to take risks too – like having unprotected sex.

Drinking may well be a feature of your life here, but don't let it define you. Don't be afraid to do something other than drink. If you do think that your partying is starting to impact badly upon your course, your looks and your pocket, don't give up – you're not the first.

Safety tips

  • Drink soft drinks too – who can tell the difference between a vodka and coke and just a coke? Who cares?
  • Watch your measures – people tend to pour larger measures at home than they get in a bar. A glass of wine at home could be the equivalent of two bought outside.
  • Always carry condoms if you think there is the possibility of you having sex – you don't want to complicate your life with an unwanted pregnancy or a dose of gonorrhoea or chlamydia.
  • Keep your drinking money separate and don't be tempted to spend more – leave your cash card behind.
  • Avoid getting into the rounds culture – you'll end up spending and drinking more.
  • Say you actually have some work to do!

Some facts

Units Calories
Bottle of wine about 9 units about 500 kcal
Bottle of vodka about 30 units
Vodka shot 50 kcal
Bottle of alcopops 1.3 - 2 units 150-230 kcal
Pint of lager about 2 units 200-220 kcal

Women

Women are advised to keep their drinking to a maximum of 2-3 units a day – that's a third of a bottle of wine or 2 shots of vodka. Two alcohol-free days a week are advised. Effects of alcohol include enlarged blood vessels, dry skin and weight gain.