By Mary Jones
Arriving in Leeds was amazing; the city is notorious for its amazing night life due to the huge number of students, from every university and college in the city, descending into the centre for a night out, every night. Understandably, the amount of drink and drug consumption is high, with students seeking out the hedonistic lifestyle Leeds has to offer. In the beginning it was great fun, with most people around me just drinking copious amounts of alcohol, however, as time progressed, I started to notice those closest to me taking more and more illegal substances.
This is what happens at University, especially those in big cities with lots of nightlife. As someone who has never had any desire to try recreational drugs, I started to feel as if I was the odd one out. As if I was the weird one for not wanting to take drugs. The exposure to the amounts of drugs in Leeds was very overwhelming and I thought I was the only person who didn’t want to partake in drugs and worried I would lose out on social situations because of it.
Quite quickly, I realised I was not in fact the only one. There are many students who like me, choose not to indulge in this culture in Leeds. Although the proliferation of recreational drugs in Leeds is quite shockingly large, never once in my two years of University has anyone ever pressured me or thought less of me for not wanting to take drugs.
It can feel as if people may be judging you for your choices but that is not true at all. Everyone just wants to be able to have the most fun they can have at University, whether that is by taking recreational drugs, drinking or abstaining from it all. The beauty of going to University is that there is such a variety of people, you will never be the only one feeling the way you do.
What I will say is that it is very easy to get swept up in the atmosphere and culture of taking drugs which is at the heart of Leeds. Always stick by your instincts. Never take drugs just because everyone else is and you want to fit in. You will fit in anyway. People in Leeds are very accepting of everyone. And take it from me, you can still have just as much fun on a night out without drugs or alcohol. You will never be the only one.