LOUISE O'NEILL: 'I leave my phone at home and I forget the rest of the universe exists'

When I was at university, I had two friends who were teetotal, writes Louise O'Neill.

We all treated them as if they were an alien species that should be studied to benefit future generations, wondering how they managed to navigate college life - parties, class events, the Trinity ball, - completely sober. We also marvelled at how much extra cash they must have, while the rest of us subsisted on vodka, weed, and porridge. Now, at the age of 33, I don’t drink and I haven’t seen the inside of a nightclub since The Dress debacle of 2015 (it was blue and black, you monsters) so I can confirm that everything I assumed about my teetotal friends in college was correct. Mainly a) social events where you’re the only sober person are excruciating and b) you do save a great deal of money.

I’d love to tell you - and my dad, and my accountant - that I’ve been saving that money for a house deposit or, I don’t know, my pension. Alas, I would be lying. I actually use it to fund a new habit I’ve developed to replace the dissolute Saturday nights followed by Sundays spent in bed, contemplating the futility of life and my own mortality.

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