Second semester can be a particularly tough time for athletes, whether they are GAA players or competitive dancers. January bares the first few grueling training sessions of the Gaelic football season. Football pitches around the country get painted with the sweat and vomit of unfit sportsmen and women.
Alcohol abuse is a widely discussed topic in relation to college life however, the drinking culture of third-level education can be particularly difficult for those who are dedicated to their sport. ‘Drinking ban’ is a word feared by athletes countrywide. It’ll be “a Mi-Wadi please” and a head hung low in a pub corner as to not attract attention toward their shamefully sober, ‘no craic’ beverage.
On a similar note, dancers approaching competition time must lay off the drink and focus on rehearsals. In my own personal experience as a dancer I’ve witnessed my Irish dancing friends prepare for the World Championships.
Drinking bans are difficult, not in a ‘craving a can of Druids’ way, but the fact that your friends think less of you for committing yourself to your passion. In other countries this decision would be respected and encouraged, whereas Irish students are impartial to the odd, “lad you’re zero craic, come on the beer before the Ball.”
I feel that DCU should have more options available for those who do not drink, or those who are on the infamous drinking ban. Sober nights for example, where the Society Life Committee (SLC) or the Club Life Committee (CLC) sponsor non-alcoholic events like cinema trips, movie or quiz nights and open mic events.
I have recently found out, with great delight, that a Sober Society (SoberSoc) has been approved and I cannot wait to see what plans they have in store for us.
To clarify, I am not anti-drink, I am anti-alcohol abuse, we’ve so many opportunities here in DCU let’s not jeopardise them for the sake of Jaeger.
Eve Kerton is the Societies Officer in DCU Students’ Union.