A Night Out
So I really didn’t start going out to parties or clubs until I was a sophomore in college and even then it was like, a once a…semester, type thing. And then when I studied abroad in Paris, I definitely got more familiar with it, and can proudly say I know how to have a good time. I definitely made mistakes and had some minor night out mishaps, but i hope that my mishaps and experiences can help you have a great night out wherever you go! Whether that be a cool bar, a bumpin' Club, or whatever your'e into. So here are just some things that I think you should know when going out.
1. Have a game plan
Don’t just go out. Like a dash of spontaneity is great! It’s awesome, but like you need to know your destination, and what you're gonna do when you get there. For example, are you guys planning on dropping by a house party, a new dance club, a bar? What? You don't wanna be floundering to figure out where you want to go all night.
Quick anecdote: my first week in Paris, we went to a boat party that was hosted by our university and then afterwards everyone was like oh…we should go out. Yeah, that sounds great, EXCEPT NO ONE KNEW WHERE TO GO! And like your home girl loves Paris, and walking it’s streets is borderline magical, but after a while of aimlessly wandering, it quickly loses it’s charm. In the end end I peaced out and let them flounder on their own. Because ain't nobody got time or energy for that.
So yeah have a freaking plan! Know what you’re doing that night, or where you want to end up.
Bonus Tip: Don't underestimate the power of a good Yelp search. Yes, I sometimes (all the time) look up going out destinations on Yelp. Don't judge! It's actually really efficient, because not only can you see ratings on a place and it's prices, you can sometimes find the best deals, and read people's comments to see if that's for sure where you want to spend your time.
2. A good group = a good time
Choose your going out group wisely. I’m blessed to say that I have only had one instance where the group I went out with was honest to gosh trash (it was the same group I went out with the first week in Paris). I learned quickly that if I wanted to have a good time, and not feel like a mom babysitting her drunken children…I needed a new group.
And I found not just one, but multiple groups that I was able to go out with and have an amazing time with! (shout out to Carolina, Ana, Erika, and Natalie! Y’all are the best).
Honestly having a good group of homies is key to your going out experience, they honestly set the tone for how the night is going to go.
3. Communication is KEY!
This is so important! The key to going out is communicating with your girls (or boys). At the beginning of the night, you make it clear what’s going down. You lay down the ground rules, you make sure your phones are charged, and you make sure everyone is set on times. If things change throughout the night, you communicate those changes! Don’t just make your own choice and go with it because guess what? You came with your girls, and it is your duty to know where your girls are and vice versa. Now I'm not saying that you all need to be attached at the hip all the time, but if you're leaving to grab a drink or take a pee break, just give them like a signal or mouth some words to let them know.
Also, master the art of talking with each other with eye contact and body language. This is especially crucial for when you are in dance clubs or just especially loud settings. If your homie is talking to a dude and gives you a look, you have to know whether that look is “please come save me now” or “girl I’m good just stay where I can see you.”
Bonus Tip: Always stay in pairs. This way if two of your girls wanna go home, but two of you want to stay, you're not just by yourself. You have someone else. I live by this rule.
4. Drinking Directions
Do not go to a club or bar trashed drunk…Please don’t, because odds are they will not let you in if you do this. (I witnessed this first hand, I was personally completely sober, but my group was not). If you are going to pre-game, have limits. What my friends and I did is that we would drink and talk and have like a small get together, so that by the time our Uber came, we were like pleasantly buzzed. Then you get to the club, get one more drink, and your good.
Also know your limits. If it’s 3 it’s 3, if it’s 2 it’s 2, if it's 1 STICK TO ONE DRINK (Showboating is for the dance floor, not for your alcohol intake).
5. 20 Dollars
So I'm pretty sure I learned this from my mom lol, so...Shout out to Kim! Always keep cash in a secure area (i.e. your bra, your shoe, a secret pocket in your clothing) because you never know what may happen. I say cash because honestly some places don’t take card, especially in Europe, and because you may not be carrying your credit cards on you, due to not having the space to put them somewhere (side note: please always keep your cards on you if at all possible). So my conclusion is to keep at LEAST 20 dollars on you when going out.
20 dollars can get you and your girls a cab, if Uber or Lyft is down or can't find your location (because guess what? Technology is not always reliable). It can buy all of you guys metro/subway tickets if you don’t have a card with you. 20 dollars can also buy you a shirt if your's gets ruined, and cheap shoes if your heel breaks. It can also by you food...which for me personally is very important. There is nothing worse than a tipsy and hungry Ari.
6. We all went out together, we will go home together…hopefully
Someone will want to hook up with someone at the end of the night, it’s almost inevitable. Like honestly, there will be a hot guy that you hit it off with and you’re like “huh yeah I would go home with you.” First of all, ask yourself these three questions.
1. Is he worth messing up the group dynamic for? (probs not) You’re about the break from the group, and kinda go against girl code…you sure you wanna do that?
2. Would you go home with him, if you were completely sober and not in the club? Like if you wouldn’t do it sober, don’t do it drunk.
3. Finally will you regret it?
So if you have gone through these questions and still want to go home with this dude, then it is your job to communicate your intentions with the group, and keep constant communication with them after you break from them. Let them know where you are, what his name is, and any other pertinent information.
Like I said, I prefer that you stay with the group, but also like it’s your life.
7. Look for deals, and free entry
I mean this may seem weird because it’s like, the club has deals? Like what? Well yes they do, and you gotta do your research. Most clubs have an Instagram or a Facebook page, and they always have special nights or deals being posted on their pages. For example, a club that we frequented in Paris consistently had deals for International students, if we got there before a certain time then International students (both guys and girls) could get in for free. Also there is the typical, ladies get in free before such and such time.
Also, look for places that don’t require a cover fee. I went to a ton of great clubs, bars, and speakeasies that did not have a cover fee to get in. This was mostly due to them being harder to find. But those were the best, not just because they were free, but because they had the coolest atmosphere. (So yeah, utilize my freaking Yelp tip from above!)
Bonus Tip: Sometimes paying for a table with bottle service is cheaper than paying for an individual entrance fee. If you have the right amount of people, you can defs make it work.
8. Be practical and Fashionable
Let’s be honest, a night of dancing may not be the time bust out your new 6-inch stiletto heels that you just bought, and haven’t worn yet. Defs think about practical, yet fashionable, footwear for when you’re going out. It usually involves an ish ton of standing so if you’re going to wear heels, I would say to make sure they have a thick heel (no matter the height) so that you have a solid base, and something that gives you ankle support (i.e. and ankle strap, booties, etc, etc.) This way you have less of a chance of rolling over your ankle/ losing balance. You have to be as prepared as possible for the obstacles when going out.
Honestly guys, in the end, just have fun. Going out can be a little daunting whenever it’s your first couple of times, but I encourage you to just go out and have an awesome time with your friends. That’s really what’s gonna make your experience the best. You don't need a fancy club, or expensive drinks, or a full proof plan to make that happen. So go grab your girls and hit the floor, and just have fun. And granted, you don't always need to go out to have fun, but the joy is knowing that you can go out and do it right.