During my first couple years of college, I couldn’t wait until the day when I turned 21 and could finally go in the crowded bars with giant neon signs outside instead of the same house parties every weekend. Now that I am finally 21 and have frequented many of these bars, I’ve definitely come to learn that they are nowhere near as exciting as I once imagined. I can’t really explain it, but there is still something alluring about these stereotypical bars that I love, yet certain things I completely despise at the same time.
College bars seem so perfect to me in several ways. First of all, every person in there is going to be in the same age group and looking for exactly the same thing: a good time. It’s also a plus that everyone there is either completely hammered or well on their way there. This provides the perfect entertainment if you’re looking for a laugh or if you yourself are looking to get trashed, even more entertainment. You can make a fool out of yourself singing karaoke or dancing on the bar and it won’t matter because everyone else in the room is going to be doing the exact same thing.
My favorite part about the bars is the cheap prices and nightly deals; they know we are all broke college students looking for some cheap fun. They always have at least one beer or mixed drink for a dollar or two every night, not to mention the outrageously cheap happy hours every day. You don’t need more than a good pregame and $5 to keep your buzz going all night. That is if you don’t mind drinking rubbing alcohol and beer flavored water, but hey, whatever gets you fucked up right?
There’s also always some sort of extra entertainment or theme for the night like karaoke Sundays or Tarot Card readings on Tuesdays which break up the monotony of getting slowly wasted, and trying to make slurred conversation with some equally wasted frat boy, and Lady Gaga being “Born This Way” blasting from the speakers. There’s also trivia night on Wednesdays, but let’s not get crazy here.
Of course, no matter how much we love bar scene, there’s plenty not to love as well. Sometimes the same crowd of rowdy drunk students can be too much when every guy is trying to grope you, using pick-up lines, the blacked out girl is stumbling into you and then all but getting fucked by the dude she met 5 minutes ago on the dance floor. It can seem like such a good time when you’re part of the hot mess train, but also a little sad and pathetic if you view it as an outsider. A bunch of 21 year old or older adults, running around like high school freshman that can’t handle a little Georgi is not a pretty sight.
After experimenting a little and visiting nicer bars with an older, more sophisticated crowd, another thing that has stood out to me about college bars is the lack of cleanliness. It is literally like walking into a frat house after a tornado (or more realistically, just your average Saturday night) with sweaty bodies, sticky floors, drinks spilled all over the bar and drunken people throwing and spilling their drinks all over each other as well. The chance of having a mildly intelligent conversation is very low and forget about meeting someone you could potentially date because most of them are only looking for someone to warm their bed and probably won’t even remember your name or what you look like the next day anyway.