Best Ways to Say “No” at Your First College Party Sober

College students

Best Ways to Say “No” at Your First College Party Sober


Getting sober in college is difficult, especially if you haven’t always been sober.  For many people, obtaining a degree is just a perk of college.  Most people enjoy the weekend parties with friends.  If you’ve partied with friends in the past, suddenly attending a party sober can throw you and your friends for a loop.  It can even egg them on because they think it’s a challenge.  Anyone new to recovery, whether they are in college or not, has a hard time telling people their reason for not drinking.  


Most people who aren’t in recovery, don’t know how to reply if you tell them you’re a recovering alcoholic.  Some may think you’re joking, while others simply don’t understand.  Sometimes in the beginning of recovery, it can be best not to disclose the full truth.  Many times, you’re not ready to defend your sobriety and others may not be ready to hear it.  While it really is best to avoid a big college party if you’re newly sober so there is no temptation, there are things you can say to your peers about why you’re not drinking.


  1. You’re the designated driver.  Saying you’re the designated driver likely isn’t a lie and doesn’t invite further questions.  Most people respect that you’re being responsible.  A good and bad part of being sober is you typically always become the designated driver.  It’s good to help out your friends, but don’t let them take advantage of you.  Learn when to say no.  
  2. Say you have an assignment due.  This one is also probably not a lie.  Whether it’s due the next day is another story, but most student peers will understand what it’s like to have an important project due.
  3. Say, “I don’t drink.”  While this one should be what you ease into saying, it may invite a lot of questions.  People tend to think it’s their business and they want to know why.  If you’re prepared to say you’re in recovery, definitely do it.  You could also say you don’t drink because you’re allergic or because you think it’s more fun to be sober.


When you embark on the journey of recovery, you will find a lot of things change.  You will discover who your true friends are and will make many new ones.  It is probably wise that you avoid these types of situations for a while until you’re not as vulnerable.  However, using the statements above can help you begin your transition into living a sober life around people who drink.  


The answer to recovery is Simple. Simple Recovery has a passion for transforming lives through residential, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs. Built on action, our treatment plan encourages movement in life, bringing clients back to work, back to school, or involvement with meaningful volunteer work. For information on our addiction treatment and dual diagnosis programs for men and women, call: 877-312-7440