Dry January: Is it time to cut down on your alcohol consumption?

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The month is quickly coming to a close, and with it comes the end of Dry January. If you haven’t heard of it, Dry January is when people decide to quit drinking alcohol for the first month of the new year. Some people will continue throughout the year, but others use it as a time to reevaluate their drinking habits and try to revise some of their behaviors with alcohol for the rest of the year.

College is the time a lot of students will start drinking, and as such it’s the time when people will start to form their drinking habits. But with drinking comes drinking responsibly, and to be short, many people don’t.

It’s pretty common to hear friends or classmates talk about blacking out or joking about throwing up all night and not remembering anything. If you’re constantly showing up to your job or classes hungover, or if half your paycheck always seems to go towards alcohol, it may be time to think about what role alcohol plays in your life.

Alcoholism is extremely normalized in our society, so it isn’t always seen as the issue it is. I mean, just look at how we treat alcoholism in comparison to other drug addiction. How many wine mom or drunk aunt memes have you seen on Facebook? Alcoholism is a common disease, and it isn’t one reserved only for the stereotypical wine moms or deadbeat dads. It’s also not something you should be ashamed of. If you’re starting to view alcohol as a problem in your life, then maybe fixing some of your drinking behaviors might be a good thing to tackle this new year.

Drinking habits aside, going sober is great for your health. Without your body having to metabolize alcohol, you’ll sleep better and sleep longer. It’ll boost your immune system, which is always good this time of year. It can also improve your complexion, since your body won’t constantly be draining excess water from its system. Your skin won’t be as dry and your acne might significantly improve, and it can also help you lose weight.

Not to mention, not drinking is a blessing for your wallet. Alcohol is expensive, and saving that extra cash every week adds up. So does the extra time. Having your Saturday and Sunday mornings free from hangovers clears up a lot of free time you can spend productively.

Overall, swearing off alcohol isn’t always an easy thing to do. Friends don’t often like to hear that you’ve decided to go sober. It can be hard to stick with sobriety when you have friends who want you to go partying with them or even just have a relaxing Friday night in your dorm with some wine and a movie. But it’s not impossible. Good friends will respect your decision, and if they don’t, then that’s their problem. And if you don’t want to be honest with someone about why you quit drinking, telling them you get horrendous hangovers can be an easy way to get people off your back about it.

Even if you don’t quit drinking entirely, it might be good to just cut down on how much you drink. At the end of the day, just be safe and do what makes you feel good, both mentally and physically.


Courtney Gavitt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at courtney.gavitt@uconn.edu.

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