The university experience cannot be a ‘true’ university experience without the drunken experiences. At least that is what we are led to believe, and unless you want to be left in a sort of social wasteland and heckled as boring by your comrades, it is pure necessity to hit the clubs from time to time. I appear to be writing this article as though going out is bad and that I don’t like it, but that is not the case. I love going out, drinking and having fun with my friends, its a fantastic social experience. The issue I have with it all is when it goes too far, and when bad things happen because people aren’t capable of making reasonable, logical decisions whilst drunk.
So in this article, I am endeavouring to take you through a uni night out, with reflections on and opinions about its best and worst parts. This will sound familiar to some of you and alien to others, but nevertheless I hope this is a good insight for you into the night of a university student.
1.) The Debate
In your flat, house or halls of residence, someone, anyone, will say the famous word, usually only one, the name of the club they think that you should all go to that night. An example at my Uni would be: ‘Kuda?’. Initially there will be some disagreement, people saying they have no money or alcohol in the house, questions of whether or not there is enough time to get ready, or complaints about a 9am lecture the next morning. However, the eventuality always is, out of boredom and over-hype, that you end up signing yourself up for a night out. If you ever wonder why students go out so much, it isn’t because we are super-cool, we are bored. Bored out of our brains and desperate to do anything to cure this insatiable appetite to not be bored at least for a few hours.
2.) The Pre-Drinks
Now once everyone has got ready and has convened into one space, usually the kitchen, the pre-drinks begin. The fact that it is called pre-drinks makes no sense to me, as this part of the night is where the majority of drinking is actually done. Now these pre-drinks have the opportunity to be really fun: a time to chat with your friends, have a few drinks and listen to some tunes, cringey bangers or Skepta, preferably. Fortunately the pre-drinks I usually attend are just like this, light-hearted and fun. Although some pre-drinks seem to be quite different. Sometimes people try to introduce drinking games to the pre-drinks. I hate drinking games, not always, occasionally they can be fun, especially to break the ice with a new group of people, or if done whilst mocking the game itself, saying the word ‘lad’ three times in a row does the trick, but beyond that I see no need for them. I cannot down drinks whatsoever, and in my opinion all that these games are for is to get you hammered. They are not fun, frequently resulting in chundering. Why would you urge someone to down something that they are likely to vomit back up? It makes not an ounce of sense to me. Drink as much as you like, by all means, but when I am with a group of people I tend to socialise normally and make conversation, not introduce games arbitrarily to try and force fun upon people, that should be a natural process, not drinking-game induced. The fact of the pre-drinks are, they are an attempt to get as drunk as possible so drinking at the club is not needed. If clubbing is so fun then why do we all need to drink so much that we forget what actually happened the night before? All of this puzzles me.
3) The Club itself
The club is often exceedingly busy, especially in a small city like York, where waiting to buy a drink takes forever and dancing has to be performed off of the actual dancefloor, unless you desire your drink to have been spilt out of your hand in a matter of minutes. Sometimes the music can be ace and you can have a really good time, yet often there are intoxicated issues which spoil an otherwise enjoyable experience. Someone may break down and cry, get angry, cause a fight, disappear, get ill, be chucked out by a 7-foot 200kg bouncer, amongst other things. If we were just a tiny bit more responsible, me included, the experience at the club could be one hundred times better, and there wouldn’t be a need for bouncers to act like parents or teachers and deal with the stupid actions us drunk youngsters perform. After the lights turn on, the walk to the bus or wait for a taxi is like seeing a promenade of zombies, some drunkenly taking home a partner after performing the animalistic mating call of dancing in the club, tempers flare and often there are scuffles or at least arguments, and there are always hystericals crying that there life is over and that no one loves them. This is what you see after the club has closed. Not a pretty sight.
Now all of the above makes it seem like I am a major bore who is just jealous of other people’s fun and ability to let their hair down and have a good time. I am not that person. I love going out as much as the next person. I just have a few issues with how it is gone about at university. If we were a little more respectful of our peers and just a little bit more mature, drinking for pleasure and just to get a little drunk, then these little qualms I have with going out would all but disappear. More people would – I feel – be inclined to actually go out if a night out didn’t have the aforementioned dramas that are caused by excess drinking
Drinking can bring out the best in people, and more often than not a night out can be brilliant, leaving everyone happy and with hilarious and fun stories to tell. Yet it can also bring out the worst in people, and can be approached in the wrong way, leaving people hurt and with regret for the decisions they have made. Excess drinking and getting too drunk is usually the cause of said distress. If we all made a few minor changes, we would all reap the benefits. God I feel like a preacher here. Or an embarrassing parent who lectures their child in front of their friends. I do apologise for getting up on my soapbox. Feel free to ignore me. But do have at least have a passing reflection on what I have written. It may all be wrong but I did leave a disclaimer on my home page: ‘I know nothing about anything.’ Have fun going out!