"I'm a sober student and I don't care if people call me boring - I still stay out until 6am"

A student who gave up alcohol just weeks after freshers' says uni life is just as enjoyable sober - and she doesn't care if people call her "boring". Elysia Sanders, 19, quit the booze in November last year after realising she didn't even like the taste - and 'hangxiety' was affecting her mental health. The geography undergraduate returns to Durham University for her second year on Monday (25/9). She says she's going to continue her sobriety - and have a good time doing it. Elysia, from Chiswick, West London, said: "I drank throughout sixth form and I drank for my first freshers' week. But I realised I just didn't like drinking. "It isn't that I signed a contract to never drink again, but I just don't want to and can't imagine myself wanting to again. "I still go out clubbing twice a week - people ask how. But I wouldn't go if I didn't want to. "There are so many benefits to not drinking, like saving money and still being able to get up for your 9am feeling fresh the next day. "The main benefit is the confidence and self-assurance that comes when you know you don't need to be under the influence to be fun to be around." Elysia was still drinking when she completed her first freshers' week. But she didn't enjoy the hangovers and anxiety the following morning after a heavy night of drinking. She says she didn't drink more than the 'average British teenager' but admits there were times she regretted how much she had consumed. So she opted to go sober and, ten months on, even as this years freshers week' rolls around, she hasn't looked back. As a sober student, Elysia says she's in the minority - and is the only one in her friendship group who doesn't drink. But she still plans to go clubbing, attend late-night events and work into the early hours in a student bar. She said: "The overwhelming reaction when I tell people I don't drink is genuine curiosity. "Some can be a bit negative, saying 'you'd never get away with not drinking at my university'. "A lot of people are genuinely curious how I do it, but I still go out clubbing once or twice a week and it's not difficult for me. "Last year we had a ball and to qualify as a 'survivor' you had to make it to 6am - which I did. "Everyone couldn't believe I'd done it sober - but I don't think I'd have stayed awake if I had been drinking!" She said she most enjoys being able to go on a night out and still get up the next day and do what she had planned. The cost benefits have also been significant for Elysia - who says the most she has EVER spent on a university night out was £25. That included two taxis and club entry - because she only drank soft drinks. Elysia said: "There were times when I agreed to have a drink because I felt embarrassed to say I'd rather have a lemonade. "I wish I'd had the confidence to say I'd rather have something I like the taste of." Elysia encourages anyone considering going sober to give it a try. She added: "I wish I could tell myself a year ago nobody will massively judge you for it. A lot of people are really supportive."