A lot of people think going out is intuitive–all you really need is some friends and someplace that serves alcohol, right? It’s easy to acquire all the ingredients of a truly great night, but assembling them is trickier than you’d expect. Things go wrong, people don’t clique or get tired, a bar is surprisingly dead, bad music, etc. As a seven year veteran of going out in Minneapolis (and as someone generally just kind of crazy about increasing the fun I can have in every situation) I think there’s some general rules that people think are weird but have maximized the raveability of just about everyone I know. So, if you want to get the best ROI on your nights out, abide by the following:
Get your head in the game. It could be you, it could be one of your friends, but there’s always someone who’s ‘not sure’ if they really want to go out. This is an easy problem to address but it absolutely has to be fixed before you leave, or you’ll be dragging all night. If you’re tired from your work-week or hungover from the night before jump in the shower with some amounts of Gatorade and Red Bull. Visualize yourself having a great time. Blare dance music. This works every time.
Plan to stay mobile. Don’t lock yourself into something that’s not fun. Wear shoes you can walk and dance in all night, only bring purses that are hands free (shoulder bags or wristlets), don’t drive in case you feel like going somewhere less accessible or decide you want to drink more (don’t drink and drive, duh), and always carry some cash. This also means that you should stop trying to meet up with people. A big part of having a great night is the ability to be live in the moment. You know what takes you out of the moment? Texting logistics all night. Go out with the friends you want to be with. If a better offer comes along, great, but don’t force it.
Stop drinking mix drinks. I have to credit Sarah Heuer with this one. Years ago she told me to stop drinking mix drinks and just take shots because you can easily keep count of the number of drinks you’ve had. This also means you aren’t drinking a bunch of sugar, which means you won’t get hangovers. I can’t tell you how underrated this advice is. This allows you to understand how your body metabolizes alcohol and hit the sweet spot between sober and obliterated. It’s just science.
Don’t take downers. You’ll be a zombie on the dance floor. Also, a good general rule to follow from our teen idol Cher Horowitz: “It’s one thing to spark up a doobie and get laced at parties, but its quite another to be fried all day.”
Repeat after me: ‘on to the next one.’ It’s a bad idea to go out with your crush. Not only is it like bringing a sack lunch to a buffet, but the only thing you’ll really do all night is be concerned about whether they are having a good time with you. There’s other times to stress out about that stuff. Additionally if you strike out with someone, dwell on it for maybe five seconds, say ‘on to the next one,’ and talk to someone else. There are literally a million fish in the sea and I’ve seen way to many of my friends ride a bumwave for the rest of the night because one person wasn’t interested in talking to them. The best way to get over it is to have fun with someone else. On. To. The. Next. One.
Go with it. If something sounds fun, do it. You’re only young once. If it seemed like a good idea at the time, it was. And if it really wasn’t, at least you have the best brunch story.
Check in with your friends at the end of the night. Text them your address in case their afterparty plans fall through or make sure they have a cab home if they need one. Try to make sure they know more details about where you’re going than ‘an after party with the guy in the red shirt.’ This is a safety thing, no one wants to get chopped up. Plus, you’ll probably never be able to have fun going out again if you let something bad happen to one of your friends.