Five reasons to do Dry July as a student

June 30, 2017
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There's a good chance that most of you reading this already have an understanding of what Dry July is (it’s a university-targeted website after all), so I’ll keep the intro brief and get right into convincing you why you should be sober for a month because believe me, I know I’m starting off on the back foot. Here's how it works:

- You sign up via their website.

- You ask friends and family to sponsor you while shrugging off the patronising “You, sober, for a month?” comments.

-You remain sober for the month of July (technically it's just about being alcohol-free, but it probably goes against the spirit of it if you're just smoking weed for a month instead).

- At the end of the month, the money you raised goes to various cancer support organisations (the list of beneficiaries can be found on their website) helping families across Australia affected by cancer through wellness programs, transport services and other methods of being real-life superheroes.

If that wasn't enough, here are five more reasons to do Dry July:

Improved health

It's hard to pitch the health benefits of dropping alcohol for a month to a person who's young and invincible anyway, but being booze-free will have some immediate pros to those with the added pressure of university. Suddenly you find yourself a bit more alert at those 9am lectures. You're sleeping better and surprise, your energy levels are better throughout the day without those five nightly “study beers”.

More money

Fairly simple, this one is. Alcohol costs money. You, as a student, have none. Or not a lot, if you want to be Captain Literal about it. As a Dry July participant, you will not be purchasing alcohol, and will thus have more money.

Cosmetic benefits

If the appeals to your physical health and to your wallet didn't work then dammit, I’ll appeal to your sense of vanity, too. We all know how the human body's inability to break down alcohol can lead to an increased waistline. Then there's the blotchy skin, the dark, heavy bags under your eyes. Giving up alcohol for a month (in conjunction with regular exercise) is a great way of melting away that beer belly while clearing up your skin, making you a visibly-healthier person in less than a week's time.

You probably know someone doing it, and misery loves company

As mentioned before, you're reading this, so you're probably a uni student and have a friend, a study buddy, or someone in your life preparing to do Dry July. Why not do it together? I can certainly think of other times in my life where, were it not for a friend pushing me out of my comfort zone, I would've missed out on something really rewarding. Plus, it never hurts to have someone looking out for you. They'll need support as well. This way, you can both lean on each other's sober shoulders for support and vent about how nightclubs suck now, and perhaps always have.

Sometimes it's good to step away from habits

I love a good routine. I really love knocking off from work (or finishing a lecture), going through the group chats to see who's doing what and where and how that can be parlayed into afternoon beers. I especially love doing this every day. Obviously this doesn't evolve into afternoon beers every day, but it's like that Michael Jordan quote about missing the shots you don't take. Anyway, my point is I enjoyed the regularity of the good times after work involving cold ones and the boys without considering what really made it worthwhile.

Are you going to the uni tav because you've got a few mates down there and it's a good opportunity to vent about thesis crisis management and that complete dud in your group project, or is the priority to get wasted? Has a whisky night-cap to help you sleep now become something necessary just to de-stress?

Breaking routine can be hard with anything, but the first thing to do is to become aware of the habit, and ask yourself where it is coming from, what thought is being represented by the behaviour etc. In this way, being alcohol-free for a month could come with its own personal breakthroughs. You may realise you never needed that liquid confidence to talk to people, or feel the urge to drop at least $40 each time you enter a pub.

Remember, you don't have to make any long-term commitments to being sober by participating in Dry July. On the first day of August, by all means have Jagermeister for breakfast, if you want to. It's just one month for an amazing cause, and comes with its own impressive personal benefits to those who get involved.

If you'd like to know more, check out the Dry July website.

Luke Hickey

When he’s not writing for Hijacked, Luke can often be found in corners of the internet jabbering about the New York Knicks, thin-crust pizza and MF DOOM outtakes.

Image: The Simpsons