Four Ways Drinking Too Much Can Affect Your Academic Achievement

Some of these you might not know - it's important to not let drinking get in the way of why you're here.


Starting University is a time of independence, change and a chance to experience new ideas, relationships and adventures. For many of us, it is our first time away from home. Sometimes, we can use alcohol particularly to lower inhibitions and make new friends during freshers, and enjoying nights out with friends can also be a great way to relax and unwind.

For some students, it might seem that drinking excessively is seen as a badge of honour; boosting status and popularity resulting in people being pressured into drinking more than they would want to. However, findings from our previous alcohol survey show that this belief couldn’t be further from the truth, with 70% of students reporting that they don’t like socialising with people who get very drunk.

Drinking too much can affect your academic achievement as well as having a negative impact on your long-term health. Your life goals and career ambitions could be affected by too much alcohol whilst at university – here are four ways your drinking affects your academic achievement

1. The Morning After

Drinking heavily means you might stay in bed rather than getting up for lectures or other commitments. Even if you do go, a hangover will affect your ability to process and store information. A heavy night can cause your brain to slow down up to 48 hours.

2. Tiredness

The lack of sleep from a late night out could have just as large an impact as the alcohol itself. Interruptions to your sleep cycle, either from not enough sleep or too much from a day spent sleeping off a hangover, will have a knock on effect, causing increased irritability, anxiety and fatigue for a few days. We never get as much work done when we don’t feel our best, so maybe those extra few drinks aren’t worth it.

3. Memory

We all know what a hangover can do to academic performance the next day, what might be less obvious is that drinking can impact on previous hours spent studying. Alcohol affects the neurotransmitters in the brain that create long term memories in the hippocampus and it affects your sleep which essential for long term memory. Treating yourself to a night out after a long day of revision could undo all your hard work.

4. Sometimes, alcohol can lead us into doing things we regret.

At the very least, it can be embarrassing - don’t let being embarrassed by something you’ve said or done get in the way of attending lectures. It can also be a lot more serious - take care of yourselves.

Basically, you just need to make smart choices. Going out and enjoying a few drinks with friends can be a great way to treat yourself after hours with your head in books, but it is all about getting the balance right. Remind yourself of the reasons you chose to come to university in the first place, consider scheduling your nights out at a time when it is less likely to interfere with your studies.

Want to know more? Read these articles:

Tips for Your Night Out

How to Have a Sober Night Out Without People Making a Big Deal About it.

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