NEWCASTLE's social scene is too focused on alcohol, 20-year-old Jessica Mellross fears.
The University of Newcastle psychology major said it was common to hear fellow students talk about money troubles yet still manage to party two or three nights a week.
She said the usual questions thrown around in the lead-up to an event included "Are you drinking?" and "Oh, why not?".
"I don't feel like anyone our age ever goes out any more just to catch up with friends and it's sad."
Miss Mellross said Newcastle had a big drinking culture.
She said it was normal among her age group to go out most Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and sometimes Sundays, and spend every other day recovering.
She admitted alcohol was too often a factor in her life but recognised that things had to change.
During October, Miss Mellross adopted sobriety as part of the national fund-raiser Ocsober, and has raised more than $2000.
All money raised will go to Life Education's drug and alcohol education programs for primary schools.
Miss Mellross said the program was important because it educated children about the effects of alcohol.
She said participating in Ocsober had also inspired her to become more aware of her alcohol consumption.