I recently decided to use my free Friday to my advantage and head across town to Drumcondra to go out with one of my oldest friends who is in college in DCU.
I hadn't been on a college night out in Dublin since I was about 19 and was looking forward to feeling that absolute madness once again that comes with a college night out.
I've only been out of college for less than a year and I'm not going to lie, I miss the nights out. That's it though, all the academic stuff, I'm glad I left it behind.
Even though I was only a year, maybe two years older max than these people, I literally felt like a granddad. The horrifying looks I got were for two reasons. 1. Because I said my college was NUIG and 2. because I used the past tense when explaining it, "I used to go to college in.../I went to NUIG."
We were in the common room of St. Pat's DCU when a heated argument broke out between those who go to St. Pat's and those who go to DCU about 'who was the better college'. Thinking I was the voice of reason I was like "lads, are ye not one of the same".
That went down like a lead balloon.
It's one of the many tell tale signs that let you know that you are just too old for a college night out.
1. Stupid arguments
Over absolutely nothing. What club you're going to, what time you're going out, who's the better college. Will everyone just chill out FFS.
No time for this nonsense anymore.
2. Olympic Pre-drinks
I love pre-drinks when it's done right. But this idea of necking as much drink as possible as quickly as possible is not my bag anymore.
I can actually afford decent enough drink now, I want to enjoy it.
3. The hangover
I went out on Thursday, I didn't feel right again until Saturday evening. Long gone are the days of doing four nights in a row, not a bother on you.
4. You don't steal anyone's drinks anymore.
You can see others eyeing up your treats but the thought doesn't even cross your mind. Younger you would have been scoping out any bottles that were lying vacant.
Standing in the pouring rain, an hour before the club opens to see a DJ you've never heard of until this week when everyone in college started going on about it is a GREAT IDEA - said nobody over the age of 21, ever.
6. The music
Lads, I literally don't know any of these songs. How do all these people know the words? And was it always this loud?
7. You have a real life job
Looking at your alarm and saying, "I don't really need to get up for that 9am" is not something that will cut it when your 9am lecture is a massive company that pays your bills.
8. You'd rather a few pints
Anyone up for just going for a few pints of creamy in the local? No?
We can do shots, shots are fine. Okay, some shots are fine. 3 Sambuca for €6 is never a good idea. Cheap shots does not equal good value for money.
Off to the toilet we go.
10. The bouncers
"You're not 18, you've had too many drinks, not tonight mate." We're over that whole random selection process tbh.
11. The packed-ness
An hour to get a drink, a half hour to go to the toilet, you'll spend most of your night in queue.
12. You don't recognise anyoneeee out
There are no familiar faces around you. If this was two years ago you could have gone out by yourself and found at least 30 people you know.
13. That excited feeling just isn't there anymore
It's gone, you've lost it. This is a sad realisation.
14. You Reminisce
"Back in my day", "The good old college days". If you use two of these many phrases then it is time to pack it in for good.
15. Do the Rag Week test
It's pretty simple. Imagine that you're about to start the mission that is Rag Week. A week of drinking, a week of partying, a week of struggle. If you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and say 'yeah, I could do this', then you're not ready to give up college nights out.
And, you're also lying to yourself.
16. You plan your exit
How can I go about getting out of pre-drinks/the nightclub without anyone noticing me? Ah feck it, they're all drunk anyway, they won't notice.
17. You're too good at ping-pong
Too much practice, my friend. Too much practice
If any of these rules apply to you, it's time to blow it up, the ball is burst, game over.