Have you made a New Year’s resolution to drink less? Or maybe adopt a healthier lifestyle? If you answered ’yes’ to either question, then the Dryathlon might be the extra push you need to get started, argues Aine Monk.
Now you might be thinking: “I have just joined the gym, how am I to complete this marathon?” and the answer is that there is no physical training required. In order to become a Dryathlete, all you need do is challenge yourself to consume none, or perhaps, less alcohol for the month of January. 

By going dry for January, you can raise much needed funds for Cancer Research UK. Similar to Dry July and Sober October, the aim is to get sponsored for staying sober. Committing to this change in lifestyle need not be for the rest of your life, a simple change for a short period of time can still make a difference. 
 
If you are still unconvinced, here’s a list of things to do while sober (which are still fun!)
 
Save money for your summer holidays by staying in
By planning a night in with your friends, you can save money and of course chill out. Many of us have exams and plenty of assignments in the coming weeks, so it is important to take time to relax. Movie nights, nights in playing FIFA or girly evenings of pampering are always enjoyable and offer the chance to catch-up with friends who may go to college down the country.
 
Here are some recipes for home-made face masks: http://beauty.about.com/od/skinflaws/a/facemasks.htm.
 
Go to the gym
We all have great intentions before the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve, but how many of us actually see our resolutions come to fruition? By ditching the drink, you won’t be haunted by a hangover and can make those early-morning gym sessions bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to get buff.
 
Join a new club or society
DCU has Sober Soc which is a welcoming society offering students the chance to socialise in an alcohol-free setting. They organise movie nights and fundraisers. They are a relatively new society and certainly one to watch, with hopes to organise a 5-a-side soccer tournament in the second semester, as well as charity events and potentially days and nights out.
 
Try a night out with a difference
There’s no denying that nights out mean naggins, nightclubs and never-ending shots lined up at the bar. I challenge students to try the sober social scene just once. The Funky Seomra is an alcohol and drug free nightclub for body, heart and soul. It is for people of all ages and all backgrounds, in short absolutely everyone is welcome. 
 
Although the next event is on Valentine’s Day, the option is still there. Save money and make memories you will actually remember the next morning.
 
New Year, New You
We all say this at the beginning of each year, but make sure it actually happens this January. Consuming less alcohol means less hangovers, less of the dreaded fear, less money spent (or indeed, lost) and a clearer head, ready for a second semester of shenanigans.
 
I am in no way shunning those who like to take a drink, I myself was a lover of naggins and shoulders before I challenged myself to stay sober for the month of October. I have found that I now have more energy and that I can still have just as much fun without downing drinks. 
 
Photo: Emily Bergquist/ Flickr