A Student’s Guide to a Night Out in the UK (Sponsored by Jesters)

A Student’s Guide to a Night Out in the UK (Sponsored by Jesters)

If you have spoken to me for any length of time, there is no doubt I have discussed drink with you at one point or another. It is a significant part of my, and any UK university student’s life, and one of the three S’s- Study, Sleep and get Slaughtered. Why am I telling you this? Well, I just thought it would be interesting to discuss an idyllic night out; starting from your weapon of choice ending with barely standing and seeking out the nearest little boys room for a nice classy exodus of stomach contents, or ‘Tactical Chunder’ (TC) as they are commonly known.

Now a forenote on planning. Nights out are both planned and spontaneous, with both being enjoyable. Generally results vary in how satisfying your night out is regardless- though there is a positive correlation between level of stupor and enjoyment factor, when adjusted for variables such as awful music, getting in fights and being removes inhospitably from the premises. Planned events, if for more specific nights such as pub crawls are generally above average. A well timed spontaneous night however is unbeatable- especially the night before an assessment.


 

Type of Night Out

The types of night out vary, but generally speaking anything other than a standard night will almost certainly mean ludicrous amounts of drinking, and a large attendance to boot. I’ll outline a couple of my favorites and classics for example, but there is a much wider range of night out- and personal innovation always goes down well.

The most obvious is the pub crawl. Actually, other types are pretty much just more interesting pub crawls, however the pub crawl is its own worthy entity. Pub crawls are excellent as they can be slower or can start earlier for how heavy you wish your night to be (though on long pub crawls everyone inevitably ends up regrettably smashed). A longer pub crawl obviously is more suitable for a special occasion with a social emphasis, with pub crawls beginning with midday lunch not uncommon. Another important aspect of a pub crawl is use of theme. Fancy dress is always acceptable and generally themore cross dressing, the better. Ridiculous themes though will also suffice, and risqué costumes are appreciated with enthusiasm.

The next type is ‘Pub Golf’. The course is the number watering holes you wish to visit, with each location having a specific drink listed, along with a suitable ‘par’ for finishing said beverage. Combination drinks are common, such as shots into beer, cider or their bastard son snakebite, and usage of the strawpedo for a hole in one bottle of alcopop or wine are also acceptable. The aim is to get the lowest score as possible- resulting in complete anarchy by the end and dropping out is not uncommon on harsher courses. The best score can be suitably rewarded with a free drink given by the rest of the participants. This mostly will consist of a perfect score with all hole in ones. With his event, variety is key, and pacing of difficulty is a good idea, starting hard, alternating difficult for simpler and ending with a difficult last hole (mandatory hole in one for example) is tradition.

The final event I will outline is the very specific and hilarious ‘Foxes and Hounds’ (also foxhunting with those so inclined). One group of people dress as foxes (usually freshers, or ‘freshmen’ as the US call them) and another group as hounds (everyone else/sports club leaders etc). Exact number in each group does not matter, though more hounds = more inebriated foxes. The game is the foxes have to go through a pub crawl route, purchasing precise drinks at each, and drinking them before moving onto the next establishment as quickly as possible. The hounds chase at any pace they choose (though they will usually partake in similar nightly menus of beverage), and if they catch up to the foxes, then the hounds can set challenges, forfeits or whatever they please upon the foxes. Common forfeits will include beverage downing, getting naked and other typical forfeits on a night out. Beverage choice is similar to that of pub golf- tough, but fair requirements for participants.

Preparation (also known as Pre-drinks or ‘Prinks’)

As with anything, proper and suitable preparation for any night out is vital. The ‘strength’ (how much you drink), of a session should suit the expectations of the night ahead (more on those later), as such there are some important factors to consider; the choice of beverage, the atmosphere of the predrinks, and the length.

Picking your poison correctly is vital. While certain members of society may choose to partake in more ‘interesting’ or ‘crazy’ substances (those who the moment you walk in you can point at as the ones crying in a corner outside or dancing so intensely to the rhythm they could be having a fit), the fantastic commodity alcohol has a wide range to allow for your every specific need. An obvious and very mistaken choice would be beer- unless you enjoy difficulty in downing, regular belching and a full stomach for minor intoxication, this beverage is best saved for a more relaxed occasion. Cider is a good choice, though filthier and higher percentage variants are recommended. This choice allows decent downability (it’s a word now ok?) and is the cheapest drink you can possibly ingest. Spirits are useful- both for shots for a swift and merciless punishment for breaking rules or for mixing for varying strength. Spirits are the most versatile of the choices (though notorious for causing premature passing out, chunders and severe memory loss, especially jaegermeister). Wine while being a strong choice and sold in suitable measure for a pre, is best saved for classier occasions such as drinking in a theatre performance, or mixing into a dirty pint.

The atmosphere is also a complex issue. Ranging from all out chunder fest to timid and pathetic, the atmosphere is what sets the tone for the night. One important factor is inclusion of music- which can be soft for a lighter touch to ‘clubby tunes’, which have best results in motivating swift consumption. Drinking games are also an important, if not THE most important factor. Choosing a light game such as a relaxed “20 + 1” or “The witch” can be a kind introduction, or a game for a relaxed session, while games such as the classic ‘Ring of fire’ (Americans I’ve seen your rules, they’re easy) or ‘The Bus’. During sessions with more heavy games it is recommended to incur random occurrences of ‘seeing off’ your drink (finishing as fast as possible) and have rules which are cruelly unfair on participants. During more heavy predrinks, while TCs are acceptable and can be common, a fair amount of banter and shaming must be dished out. Lastly, the length of prinks while important is very simple. Longer is better. However, the average time that is most suitable is roughly 2 hours, regardless of the other factors.

Prinks is central to a good night out, and can often be the highlight, but emphasis must always be placed on the club itself and failure to attend the club must dealt with via strict guilt trips and encouraging banter to persuade otherwise. If you take anything from this, it must be that drinking and attitude setting are the most important things to a predrinks.

Expectations

Everyone knows that expectations can shape anything, but what you aim to do with your night certainly influences your behaviour and how much you will enjoy yourself. There’s a few ways you can go with this, some intended or not.

Generally, the best idea is to just have fun. Drink a sizeable amount, but ensure basic skills such as taxi haggling, money management for both post club food and taxi and legible drunk texting are kept. A fun night can be anything from sitting at a table having a laugh and playing drinking games to going on the dancefloor and messing around. We all know you can’t dance. Embrace it and have fun anyway! (and don’t forget to mime the lyrics to the songs you pretend you know but only one gender in the club cares about). Aiming for fun can end up being both lighter and heavier nights, but the end result is always just a social time with a group of friends.

However, on a special occasion such as a birthday or an event, you can go for a “heavy one”. The central concept of any night like this is a mantra similar to “go hard or go home”. Everyone buys a lot and drinks a lot- especially the birthday boy/girl. While fun is still important, it is of paramount importance that the birthday boy/girl does not remember the night, and that a plentiful supply of embarrassing photos is taken during the course of the night. In general events, heavy drinking for all, with lots of shots and mixed drinks are recommended. If during a night like this you do not at some point lose a portion of your memory or black out, suffice to say you are doing it wrong- and should probably assess how you can better your drinking ability.

The lighter occasion can also include events, but of a differing variety. Post meal outings are ideal for this. The club may not even be the most important portion of this night, and going back to a friend’s house for some gentle rounds of fifa, chilling out an light usage of further alcohol or other substances (if you so choose) can continue the impaired brain function that we know and love. It may be surprising to note that these nights can actually go on for much longer amounts of time than a heavier night or a standard night, just due to the fact you are going at a more relaxed place. Particularly after a tiring week, these kinds of nights can be extremely welcome.

Naturally though, the experience of a night is heavily influenced by the kind of club you attend. Ranging from the outrageously pricey and pretentious to the downright grotty and zero standards clubs, the nights are shaped (and often enhanced) by informed selection of venue. Generally smaller clubs with lower standards provide more laughs, cheaper drinks and an overall more welcoming (and accepting of your drunken antics) atmosphere. The place of choice for a heavy night- you can still look without tearing up at your bank balance the following morning. More expensive and larger clubs generally are better for a dance- with a wider variety of music it is much better for a lighter night. However, in these more expensive clubs, you will see an increase in people probably on drugs, and also an increase in the amount of the guys who throw money around and act like they own the place. My overall view is the smaller and grottier the better. Nothing beats a cheap night when the toilet cubicles are automatically reserve for a person in dire need of a good chunder.

Population of the Nightclub

picI’m going to run down a list of the more… prominent members of the nightclub community. They can both be friends or complete strangers, but they are nevertheless just as infuriating or delightful in equal measure. This is not a complete list, but simply an overview of the most obvious people you will see.

‘The Puller’- This one doesn’t need much explaining. Some people just go out on nights to hook up with girls, and hopefully spend the night with them. Needless to say, they are the douchebags of the nightclub. Hopping from target to target, splashing cash, making false promises and eventually being far too happy with themselves if they do manage to get themselves 30 seconds of heaven. Other people though, maybe on a rebound, or just may get lucky. These nights can be enjoyable for both parties, but don’t expect your friends to be nice about it if your lucky lad/lass doesn’t turn out to be so nice once the beer goggles are off, and equally you cannot complain if your dream pull turns round to romantically say “I don’t have money for the bus”. It’s a classy world.

‘The Lad’- While they can be utterly hilarious, the stupid stuff these kinds of people pull can inevitably ruin someone’s night. Aiming to try and be the ‘alpha male’ of the night club, they might get naked for fun, poor drinks on people, start fights or do other frankly antisocial things that no one likes. Equally, these guys generally go almost hand in hand with either the type of person above, or the next type on the list. While they can be funny, these are the kinds of people that will take everything too far, and kill all the fun. Everyone loves the banter. Everyone loves to get trashed. But please- don’t be ‘that guy’.

‘The Alcoholic’- You can spot these people from a mile away. The kind of guy so drunk he can only sway from side to side on the dancefloor with his eyes glazed over- staring into the distance with no concept of reality or time. The kind of fellow bent over with a pool of vomit between his knees, or the guy being carried out unconscious on the shoulders of four of his formerly best mates. These guys generally think they can outdrink anyone, and drink like prohibition is only minutes away. But once they’re ‘too far gone’ they become creepy to the opposite sex, dance like morons and generally embarrass themselves. Lesson learned- know your limits.

‘The Wanderer’- The person who tries to do their own thing, talk to random people, buy drinks, maybe have a solitary smoke. However, come the end of the night you always know waiting for you on your phone is a text from said person “Whre rame gou>!”- loosely translated as “Would you kindly disclose your current whereabouts old chap?”. This of course, ends up in an inevitable phone call where the parties in question can neither hear, nor understand one another, and a usual agreement to meet in the kebab shop is the likely result. However, the wanderer is also prone to leaving the club and getting lost. The endless post club search party down the roads leading from the club is not enjoyable. At all costs, unless you will definitely get home- do not leave the club.

‘The Lairy’- You know these guys. The ones who are always funny and perfectly nice people, but then turn into an angry douche the moment a beer bottle touches their lips. Constantly reminding you that they ‘have your back’ should any scuffle occur, being the guy on the dancefloor pushing everyone out the way with no disregard for anyone else, and the ones who always, ALWAYS square up to the one guy in their close vicinity who is larger than they are- with dire consequences. Unfortunately, this is quite difficult to overcome, though in this case if you suffer from this particular affliction, maybe you should try a different drink and see if you can overcome their obsession with turning nightclub into fight club.

‘The Druggy’- Like the alcoholic, the druggy is a fairly easy species to lay eyes upon, though to any unknown eye they may go unnoticed. Obvious hints are the classic ‘gurn’, which is a classic variety of facial features surrounding on the loss of, or lack of facial expression control. Another hint is the dancing. These people will turn into a literal human metronome, swinging their arms, nodding their head or jumping up and down so on time to the beat it seems almost second nature. They look like idiots, and are often equally frustrating the bar staff by repeatedly getting free water from the bar. Annoying parts of these people come from their insistence that whatever they are on is both ‘safer’ and ‘cheaper’ than alcohol, as well as it being more ‘enjoyable’. Fortunately for the general wellbeing of humanity, no one gives a **** what they think.

Post Club Dining

While not essential, the eating experience after leaving the club can be one of the best parts of any night. Ranging from cheap, greasy and disgusting to slightly less greasy and still relatively disgusting, the meal you decide to ingest is vital for avoiding a hangover, and buying for your lucky pull can provide the perfect romantic gesture to round off the night.

Choice varies a lot, from generic fast food chains to kebab houses and even Indian restaurants for a posh dining experience (no, seriously), the location is prime to both the quality and the experience of one’s eating. While a cheap and cheerful kebab may seem ideal at the time, one must remember to allow for your intoxicated state- as such try to avoid anything which doesn’t look like meat such as the infamous doner kebab (which I buy and gladly gorge on anyways). Burgers or chicken kebabs are always a solid choice, providing the right balance of size, taste and hangover reduction.

A more posh experience can be found in restaurants that open late. I know of only 2, but the providing of a classier experience with quality food certainly makes a much more enjoyable end to a night. There’s just something about going for a quality indian meal in a restaurant at 3am that appeals to people- and tastes damn good too. Be wary though, some groups of people (i.e, the aforementioned ‘lads’) may have some slightly distasteful traditions while consuming their food- such as dining naked, or doing a runner and leaving you with a bill for 5. If anyone is running off without paying, make sure it’s you.

Final Comments

This is my guide/explanation on a student night out in good old Blighty. While traditions and venues vary between different areas, this should suffice for you to survive a good, solid night on the town. However, it is always important for you to make it your own- take a hipflask full of whiskey, go to the dirtiest, cheapest place you can and try not to remember it the following morning. There’s just nothing quite like waking up with an empty wallet, horrible hangover and a blank memory.

 

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Hi! I'm a 21 year old Medical student in the UK. You will know me from the forum as the guy who never shuts up, or the new smurf in town. I have a fairly wide variety of interests, so I'm hoping to share some of them with you all here.

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5 comments on “A Student’s Guide to a Night Out in the UK (Sponsored by Jesters)”

  1. AnCapaillMor says:

    What no 24 hour coffee shop for coffee and a slice of death by chocolate or missisippi mudpie afterwards. i’m disapointed in you ser. Besides that fault, good write up, brought back memories as a broke student.

  2. WaffleGuy says:

    Fun read Cereal!

    I don’t think these things listed aren’t far off from the stuff going on here as well, although I’m not much of a drink-and-party guy 😛

    I thought there also was a name for the guy dancing in wide movements, pushing people away from him and then try to make the spotlight by dance. Usually comes across as a douche though xP

  3. Lanzen says:

    Ugh, now I feel old. One thing I am grateful for, no mobile phones when I was clubbing as a student, so no opportunities to wake up the next day with that horrible nagging feeling, checking your phone, seeing the texts you sent whilst trousered, and having to avoid people for weeks at a time until the indiscretions passed from collective memory.

    I will say I was one of a very few members of the honored society of ‘Sub-Minuters’ – those who can get through a yard of ale in under 60 seconds. All in the wrist, dear friends, all in the wrist.

    1. Nice one Lanzen. Sadly while I have no milestones for something like that, a few of my mates are rugby lads, and on their birthday they have to drink a ‘boot’ of beer. This glass boot is 6 pints/3 litres. My friends fastest time is 56 seconds. I don’t know how it’s possible!

  4. Argetlam350 says:

    Well I guess if I ever go to the UK, I’ll have to keep this on my mind in some respect when I go on a night of the place. An interesting read indeed.

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