How to Stay Social and Make Friends in College When You Don’t Drink

Dara Laine Murray
5 min readFeb 13

College is meant to be the best four years of your life. You’re free to experiment and explore new things, but it can also be a stressful time as you try to find yourself and make friends.

For some people, that means drinking—and lots of it. (I know for me it did, and boy do I wish I had quit drinking sooner.) But not everyone wants or needs alcohol in their lives, which can make socializing in college difficult without it. My partner never drank in college, but fortunately, there are plenty of ways for students who don’t drink to have fun and meet new people on campus without having any drinks at all!

How to Stay Social and Make Friends in College When You Don’t Drink
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Get involved in clubs and other activities.

There are lots of different types of clubs and organizations on campus, and it’s easy to get involved in one or two. You can join a sports team, play an instrument with a music group and/or choir, participate in movie discussion clubs, an anime club, read the newspaper, volunteer at a local charity—tthe list goes on!

The first step is figuring out what kind of club you’re interested in joining. Do some research online—you'll probably find websites for most clubs that will tell you what they do and how often they meet. If there aren’t any websites available yet (and remember that this is college; some things take time), ask around until someone knows something about the group. Then go talk with them! They might be able to help put your name down on their waiting list so that when someone drops out or graduates from school next year, there will already be another person ready to go who wants to join right away.

Volunteer for a cause you believe in.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people and make friends.

Volunteering can also be an excellent way to learn new skills, build your resume, and help out in the community.

Some organizations even have programs that pair up volunteers with students who share their interests or hobbies!

How to Stay Social and Make Friends in College When You Don’t Drink
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Attend events…

Dara Laine Murray

Multi-passionate sobriety writer on Medium. Day job: Director of Research at a nonprofit. Stories = sober + stats. Editor: