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Why I've stopped pretending I like clubbing

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Recently, an article in the Independent suggested that Fresher’s Week should be banned. It was enough to draw pantomime gasps and remarks such as “How will the fresher’s cope?” But not from me.

To me, fresher’s week was just one torturous week consisting of being force fed alcohol and pretending to enjoy myself in a sweaty underground nightclub, everyone packed in like sardines, everyone wasted, drinks spilling down your legs as you tried to feel your way through the sticky floors.

Clubbing, quite simply, is awful. It is the most effective way to throw your time, money and dignity down the drain. 

I hated clubbing when I was suddenly old enough to do it, and my opinion hasn’t changed. At first I thought I was a freak, and that I was deficient if I couldn’t see the fun in what is undoubtedly the most emphasized activity in young people at university. Now, as a second year, with established groups of friends, a house off campus and good results coming in, I feel a sense of relief and confidence that I can be my own person, and only do the things I want to do.

I used to be one of those people, pretending that clubbing was the most amazing fun ever. It’s not. Sorry if I don’t consider puking my guts up in the bathroom and grinding on random boys fun. And the end product after a few short hours of shouting and knocking back mood altering substances? The feeling the next day that we slept with our head in a door all night. So why do we torment ourselves? We do we continue to partake in such a monotonous, worthless activity? Because otherwise you’re “sad”.

 

It’s this sense of obligation that cattle prods many students out the door. Next time you go clubbing look around, and you may be surprised when you consider just how little of the dancefloor are actually smiling. That is, until the camera comes out. There are some people who are tagged in 3000 facebook photos, all with the same aspiration: to prove to people they’re not sad boring losers sat home on a Friday night, but that they are amazingly popular social butterflies who wouldn’t go more than four days without clubbing.

There are a certain type of girl at uni, and they know deep down who they are, who spend hours perfecting their looks down to the last false eyelash, squeeze themselves into the tiniest, trendiest clothes - a new outfit for every night of course, to avoid the social horror of being photographed and tagged in the same dress twice-and spend all night posing like plastic dolls, making ridiculous faces as if to suggest that they’re having a crazy time, and when the cameras not flashing, stand still and gaze around, letting slip through their expressions that they would actually rather be anywhere else.

Facebook, along with the media, has brainwashed people into doing things they would rather not. It seems that now, as long as it looks like we have a life, it doesn’t matter what we as individuals think of it. Clubbing is just a way in which to cement our existence as young, life-loving people, not saddoes who actually might want to study for their degree.

 

Then there’s the god-awful guy sees girl ritual. This seems to affirm to people why they go clubbing - to pull. But it’s always the same. You dance, you feel an alarming pinch of the bum, and look up hoping to see Johnny Depp and are met with either the archetypal disgusting nerd or a wannabe Charlie Sheen. There’s something borderline voyeuristic about snogging someone in a club, and that added injection of alcohol only makes it more so. People may say I’m boring, but I find the people who sculpt their whole being and sense of existence around how many people they’ve tallied up from nights out, only to wake up to them the next morning in a haze of confusion, chuck them a Ryvita and some coppers for the bus and tell them to be one their way, far duller. And if you're not boring, you're a slut. So nobody wins.

 

A lot of people fear that if they stop going out, they’ll be considered boring. “I want to go out loads and get drunk while I’m still young”, is the mantra of many students, which only confirms that its fear that forces some to club; the fear that as soon as they 30 they will somehow suddenly combust, be sent off to the nearest care home and be banned from having fun forever. Another media lie.

 

Next time you feel railroaded into going out, stop and think to yourself, who am I doing this for? Myself? Am I doing it for me, or so I fit into what the media has engrained in my head that I should be doing. Why should you do things that you hate for other people?

The views expressed in this article are that of the writer and not of The National Student or its editorial staff.

 




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