What is it about clubs and bars that young people find so attractive? What draws them to it like moths to a flame? This is one question whose answers I have never been able to comprehend. As a 20-something female, I have a confession to make: I have been to a club one time. You read right, ONCE, to see what all the hype is about and to pop my clubbing cherry. That night, from where I was standing, abusing my nose and lungs with other people’s cigarette smoke and straining my eardrums to the point of no return, I could only think (or barely think over the thump-thump-thump of the speaker so dangerously close to my face) ‘why on Earth do these people keep coming back to these clubs?’
The popular answers include to have fun and catch up with your friends, to meet and magically fall in love with strangers, to liberate yourself and drink your worries into oblivion, because YOLO. Well, I fail to understand what’s so fun about having to shout your voice hoarse just to get a “what!?” as a reply from your friend. I fail to understand what’s so magical about having meaningless one night stands that you end up regretting the morning after (or even the rest of your lives, if you’re the unlucky few). I fail to understand what’s so liberating about waking up so hung-over you vow to never drink again only to repeat the exact same things the next weekend. And as for YOLO, it means you only live once, I don’t know about you but for me that means doing something that I can look back on and say “I’m glad I did that” or contributing to something worthwhile that benefits other people and making your mark in this world in a positive and enlightening way. I fail to see where clubbing fits into the definition of YOLO. People have thrown that word around so much and so easily, it’s lost its meaning. Urban dictionary goes one step further in defining YOLO as the Carpe Diem of stupid people; the way I’ve seen it being used, I have to agree.
I know people will tell me things like “you’re missing out” and “have fun while you’re young”. Please elaborate, what exactly will I be missing out on? All the booze I’ll be drinking? All the intriguing, exotic people I’ll be meeting? All the fun and excitement I’ll be sharing with my friends?
The way I see it, the only things I’m missing out on are hangovers, possible STDs, increased risk of lung cancer, permanent damage to my sense of hearing, strangers I’ll likely never meet again after that one night, and treasured memories that most of you cannot even recall when you wake up in the morning. Well, you know what? Between having to throw out perfectly good clothes because I cannot get that cigarette smell out no matter how many times I wash them and spending outrageous amounts of money to enter a place I don’t want to be in and buy a drink I can’t even swallow (it’s that bitter!) I’m glad I’m missing out.