As the weather gets colder, the balance in your bank account gets lower, and going anywhere further than your suite’s bathroom gets more exhausting, heading to 1020 on a Friday night is not as enchanting a prospect as it may have been earlier in the semester. One Bwogger explains why, for them, that prospect has never been particularly enchanting in the first place.
It’s a typical Friday night: you’re at a party in a suite that’s growing more sticky and sweaty by the minute. Mixers have been long exhausted, alcohol is running low, and guests are threatening to revolt if they hear the opening bars to Closer one more time. The clock on your (distressingly close to dead) phone reads 1:43 A.M. And then, you hear a shout from across the crowded living room:
“Let’s go to 1020!”
To your alcohol-addled brain, this suggestion is tantamount to climbing aboard a space shuttle and blasting off this hell planet once and for all. You definitely aren’t drunk enough already. You definitely don’t have two papers due next week. You definitely don’t need that $50 you were saving to buy your sister a Christmas present. You dash for the closet, grab your coat, and race to the bar – fake ID in tow.
But if you’re like me, this scenario plays out a little differently. The suggestion to go to 1020 is not a call to action, but a call to inaction. I meander to the closet, go to the bathroom another two or three times, and try to delay the walk towards 1020 as long as possible, maybe staggering a little extra for effect. I know that as soon as I reach that inevitable turning-off point towards my dorm, I’ll be separated from the rest of the people at the party forever. They’ll be laughing about things tomorrow that happen long after I go to sleep.
Often, when I tell people that I don’t have a fake, I’m met with sympathetic looks, as though I just said that my parents are Trump supporters. They ask, don’t I feel as though I’m missing out on something? Why don’t I just get one, even if I won’t use it that much? They’re really not that expensive. Yet the more I get left behind after parties migrate to 1020, the more I think that I’m making the right choice.
For one thing, fakes themselves aren’t that expensive – but alcohol sure is. A typical night at a bar costs over fifteen times as much as a night spent at EC. And that’s not taking into account buying personal stores of alcohol or Ubers back to campus. Since I can’t buy booze myself, I stick to contributing mixers, which make far less of a dent in my bank account.
Going home early may seem sad and lame at 2am on a Friday night, but on Saturday morning when I have a paper to work on, I’m very thankful to my past self for actually getting some sleep. Plus, I’m usually not as hungover as my friends are. Maybe I got no work done last night, but it didn’t prevent me from getting no work done today.
And who even goes to bars in Morningside Heights, anyway? Plenty of Columbia students do, certainly, but a huge part of the 1020 crowd has no affiliation with the university whatsoever. When I go to parties on campus, I may not be able to control everyone I have to interact with, but at least I know that they’re born in the same decade as I am (unless there are GS students present, in which case they’re probably cool people and I’m okay with it.) There are a lot of familiar faces in the room, and I’ll be more comfortable showing off my poor dance skills or telling the whole party about how much I love the staff of Absolute Bagels.
Do I get jealous when looking at Snapchat stories of friends club-hopping, dancing, or going to Tom’s at 5am? Yeah, sometimes. Do I wish I could go on similar adventures? Of course. But even if I had been there, I probably wouldn’t remember much of the night, either. It’s hard to make friends when you’re drunk and stuck in the middle of a crowded bar; not having a fake forces me to spend some time hanging out with people during daylight hours, when everyone involved is lucid.
Not to mention one of the worst parts of going out: getting home. The walk back to your dorm from EC is long, dark, and windy, and the likelihood of tripping on the sidewalk, losing your wallet, or accidentally mooning Public Safety is distressingly high. Without the ability to go to bars, I spend more time drinking in the comfort of my own suite – with alcohol I didn’t pay for, and my bed no more than a thirty-second walk from the kitchen.
And besides, just because I haven’t been to 1020 yet doesn’t mean I’ll never go. I’ll turn twenty-one with plenty of time left before I graduate, and I’ll be able to relish all of the joys of expensive cocktails and nights of barhopping then. Or maybe I’ll just buy myself a handle of vodka and host a party in my suite – right now, that seems far more fun.