There are many cool and clever ways to get out of drinking as a college student when the “pressure” begins biting.

Some college kids will feel “peer pressure” to drink. Some won’t. I was in that second group, and because I was in that second group, I will offer some mighty cool ways for kids to get out of drinking while at college.

You might be thinking, “Just say no.” This won’t work if you say it the wrong way.

Another common suggestion, when offered alcohol at a college party, is to simply say, “No thanks.”

Again, this won’t work if it’s said with uncertainty, and if the kids offering the drinks are pushy and insistent.

A thread on an online college forum includes a posting by a college student who says that the polite “no thanks” will have no effect on persistent kids.

And she is right. To get out of drinking at college, and to handle any peer pressure to consume alcohol, a student’s greatest weapon is HOW he or she declines. When I was offered alcohol, my standard response was “no thanks.”

However…and this is a big however…there was just something about me  —  my bright eyes, my vibes, my intonation  —  that made my brief, simple responses work so well.

I believe that only once did I have to go to Plan B with a student who was rather insistent.

I was in a dorm room, the music loud, and there were a number of kids there, and lots of alcohol.

The “no thanks, I don’t drink,” didn’t work. When Steve kept insisting, I said, “Well, you seem to be enjoying your liquor so much, I’d hate to take any of it away from you.

If it’s so good, I don’t understand why you’re so eager to share it instead of have it all to yourself.” Steve got the message at that point.

The basics to fight the peer pressure to drink at college:

When someone offers you a drink, 1) Look them in the eye when you give your response; do not look away! 2) Speak clearly; don’t mumble; don’t whisper or sound meek! 3) Be aware of your body language; don’t slouch or nervously rub up and down an arm, etc.

Cool responses to avoid drinking at college:

When someone is insistent that you try a drink, choose any of the following responses:

“I don’t like the taste.” (I actually used this a few times myself.) It will be exceedingly difficult for even the pushiest student to oppose this response. However, suppose someone does.

Ask them to name a non-alcoholic beverage that they hate the taste of. Then ask them why they never drink it.

After they tell you they hate the taste, say, “Then you certainly understand why I won’t touch alcohol.” Then smile huge with big eyes. The person will not bother you again, guaranteed.

“It makes me throw up, even just a few sips.”

“I’m the designated driver.” (Works only off-campus.)

“I’ve already had my quota for the evening.” (Works only if the person doesn’t know you haven’t been drinking.)

“I have my period and alcohol brings on the cramps.” (Guaranteed to turn a guy pasty white, and a girl will probably say, ‘Ohh, I understand.’)

If you meet up with an unusually persistent individual or group, then you’ll need to abandon hopes of scoring brownie points with them; instead respond:

“I SAID I don’t want any alcohol.” Then stare them down.

“I SAID I don’t drink. Got a problem with that?”

“I SAID no thanks. What part of no thanks don’t you comprehend?”

“I SAID no thank you. Wanna make something of it?” Don’t worry about destroying any possibility of making friends with clowns who enjoy exerting the peer pressure to drink upon you; are these the type of people you want in your life anyways?

Some readers here may think that a few of these responses are way too brazen, but let’s face it: drinking among college kids is a very serious issue and has led to quite a few tragedies.

Sometimes kids, who are fed up with being hassled about refusing to drink, need to get tough and forget about being “polite.”

You’ll be amazed at how easily the aggressor will back down when the “goody two-shoes” student fires back one of these responses.

Nevertheless, you’re safer in a college dormitory than in someone’s off-campus apartment when it comes to the pressure to drink.

The following witty responses to get out of drinking at college are from

“I’m in ROTC.”

“I’ve got to get up early tomorrow.”

“I have to work on a paper later on.”

“When I drink I turn into the Hulk.”

“I can’t drink tonight because I’m the designated walker.”

“I’ll drink when I’m thirsty.”

“I’m taking calculus and I can’t drink and derive.”

Several suggestions on the college site suggest telling pushy kids that alcohol will interfere with your medication.

Anyone who pesters you to drink after you’ve expressed no interest is very capable of then asking what medication you’re on.

And if you’re not, then what? You now have to come up with more responses.

Or, you can just say, “MYOB” and leave the party. Best option: Don’t use the “I’m on medication” excuse. It invites more pestering!

Any response to being offered a drink will work if it’s said in a convincing, confident tone with assertive body language, though you may have to go a round two like I did with Steve.

If you haven’t mastered assertiveness, then carry around a cup/glass of soda that can pass for alcohol.

Realize that, for the most part, the “pressure” to drink amounts to nothing more than several flies buzzing around your head.

These pushy kids, by and large, are harmless (it’s not likely they’ll whip out a machete if you take a stand against alcohol consumption).

Trust me on this; I spent four years in a college dormitory and speak the truth.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.