An introduction to Sussex University’s very own High on Life society, written from the accounts of its members

Drinking is often seen as a major part of student life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The drinking culture can be so prevalent in university that it can lead to many people feeling pressured into drinking just as a way to socailise. This kind of attitude can be quite damaging not only to the individual but harmful to society as a whole.

There are many reasons to why people do not drink alcohol. These include but are not limited to medical, physical and mental health reasons. Furthermore, it may not be a part of the individual’s culture or religion to drink. And for some people, it’s just a personal preference.

Although some may have their misconceptions about staying sober and socialising you can still experience the joy and fun that student life offers.

It may be surprising to hear that the Office of National Statistics reported that a quarter of 16-to-24-year-olds do not drink. This figure is up 19% from a decade ago. (Just to make it clear, we are aware the legal national drinking age is 18 – we are not promoting under-age drinking!).

So, it’s not really that uncommon!

With rising amounts of young people choosing not to drink, we thought it should be easier to socialise and meet people in a drink-and-drug free environment. Therefore, the High on Life society and sober socials were born! There are plenty of ways to socialise and enjoy student life without a drop of alcohol.

Brighton is bursting with things to do that encourage socialising without the need to drink. In the past our society have been on café crawls, visited the cinema, had a laser tag battle, and much, much more. We also have socials being planned to include bowling, ice skating, and collaborations with other societies.

By running socials without one thing, we bring together a wide community of students to socialise and try new things.

As with any society, you are not obliged to attend every one of our socials. However, most people find it a great way to take a break from studying, have fun, and experience everything the city of Brighton and Hove has to offer.

Many members of the society are not entirely sober. Some people still choose to drink outside of High on Life socials, which is entirely acceptable – we won’t judge you if you do, but we ask that everyone stays sober while taking part in our socials.

To find out more about the society and be first to know about the sober socials we have planned, visit our website ( or join our Facebook group by searching ‘High on Life Sussex’.

With special thanks to James Akehurst, Emma Campbell and Ramisha Rahman

Categories: News

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