The Culture of Going Out

I spent the past weekend hanging out with my older cousins. They’ve all graduated college and grad school and established their careers, so I don’t see them more than a few times a year. As we were discussing what we’d been up to in the past few months, the conversation turned to our social lives. Of all my older cousins, I’m closest to two, one of whom is a lawyer in Washington DC and the other who is completing his residency in New York City. They both delved into the details of their nightly adventures, and listening to them made me realize just how much the culture of going out changes as we age.

As a sophomore in college, my going out experiences have been limited to frat parties in dirt covered basements that reek of Everclear. After the initial few times of going out and being violated by drunk, grimy college boys, I decided that basement parties weren’t really my scene. This is not to say that I’ll never go to one again, but I definitely associate them with my freshman exploration phase. It’s mildly amusing to see just how much my outlook on going out has changed over the course of the past year. I cannot even begin to imagine what social outings will consist of in ten years time when I’m approximately my cousins’ age.

As for my cousins, they’ve both advanced to becoming the epitome of the terms “food junkie” and “bar regular”. An average evening for either of them consists of visiting one of the city’s newest eateries with their colleagues or dropping by their favorite bar where they’re recognized on a first name basis. They’ve both confessed that more often than not, their nightly restaurant experiments end up being misses. Ever so often, however, they end up striking gold and finding a place they know they’ll return to time and time again. I find their lifestyles fascinating, probably because I love the idea of being a “foodie”.

Being that I am the stereotypical broke college student, I’ve found that my idea of going out has been limited to spending my nights in frat house basements (which cost me nothing, I might add). Maybe this year I can begin my cultural evolution by exploring the restaurants in my area and finding a new social scene. Until then, I’m grateful that I can live vicariously through my cousins’ nightly social adventures.