Last week I attended the Arts Ball with one of my best friends (and a whole load of other students who study Arts courses in the great NUI Galway.) It was an absolutely fantastic night – I’ve been describing it all week as a concert in a fancy dress, which is exactly what it was. Acts such as Original Rude Boys, Hudson Taylor, The Academic and Hermitage Green played and we danced the night away in a fabulous hotel in Salthill, giving our Debs dresses another airing.
Yet some nights out aren’t always as fun as we hype them up to be. Sometimes we might find ourselves minding a friend who has had one too many (which no one really cares about as long as it’s not a frequent experience) or other times we might just rather we stayed in and were tucked up in bed with a hot water bottle and in our favourite pyjamas.
And it is those nights that you wish you stayed in that this post is all about. I think we’ve all been there – I know I certainly have. And I’d like to share my tips for when that happens.
For me, it happened particularly when I was trying to settle back into the college routine here in Galway after a long summer off. I think it is common knowledge that the social scene is massive here in the Wild West and it can sometimes feel you have to keep up with everyone else. And there I was, feeling a bit homesick and worried and I simply did not want to go out.
Now I have become settled into Galwegian life once more (and almost feeling sad that it is already week 6 in second semester!), among other reasons, I’ve put it down to changing my own expectations of a night out. I don’t go out thinking, “Okay I have to have an amazing night, I have to chat to everyone at pre-drinks, I have to have a dance on the downstairs dance floor in Electric then do a few laps around having a laugh with the girls and then I’ll get a cocktail and then I’ll have another dance… AND then we will go baloobas outside Supermacs chanting KOLO KOLO at the top of our lungs and like maybe get home at about four?” I don’t need to put that kind of pressure on myself.
I’ve become a bit more chilled out about it all and here’s how:
- No more wine-ing – can you tell I’m a lover of (dodgy) puns? Anyway basically I found that drinking too much white wine on nights out was making me a bit too emotional and gave me a tendency to whine. I decided that it just wasn’t my drink and I am a better version of myself enjoying some cider. I can still have a glass if I want to feel fancy but ultimately I think I’m doing myself a favour by lessening my wine intake. It’s heavier duty stuff than we might think.
- Not forcing myself. If I didn’t feel up for a night out I’d start to feel bad & feel like I was letting down the squad (ie my lovely housemates!) and so would find myself in a bad mood on the tiles really wishing I wasn’t there. This was completely new for me – I always loved a good boogie belting out any cheesy number that blared across the nightclub’s speakers. But when you feel a bit blue, a good film on the laptop or reading a good book tucked up in bed can sometimes just be a better remedy to things than forcing yourself to endure a nightclub.
- Day time fun! Do you know what one of my favourite things to do is? Drink hot chocolate (yep, I know, this post is becoming more basic-white-girl by the second.) I love going to Galway’s cafés for a hot choc and just chatting to my friends. Recently, a friend of mine came back for a visit to Galway from Glasgow and our group gathered for crepes and hot drinks in a local spot, Javas. And hand on heart, it was one of my favourite days so far this year in Galway. Sometimes you just have to skip the night time socialising and go for a good old fashioned sober catch up – it takes away the added dramas alcohol brings every now and again, you can talk properly & you can get a good night’s sleep in after too!
- Going out when it matters. If you go out four times a week AND make it to college a part of me applauds you – that is some stamina! Personally though I’m not cut out for that and know that I won’t be in good form to enjoy my weekend if I go out too often during the week (I would also be broke.) And being honest, that kind of takes the fun out of it. But no way will I ever miss an event that is important. If there’s a birthday or a celebration of passing exams or assignments, it is important to me that I go and enjoy myself. And when you haven’t been out in awhile, these kinds of social gatherings are a whole load more fun and much more exciting. So go out when it counts and you’ll have fonder memories of those nights than an abundance of just alright ones.
However, all that said sometimes to get yourself out of a funk you HAVE to deal with it head on. It’s okay to have a night in when everyone else is heading out on the town and give yourself a bit of TLC once in awhile, there is many reasons doing so is needed, be that homesickness, a touch of anxiety or just plain tiredness. But do not let yourself become isolated and certainly don’t let what is going on in your head ruin your fun – but that, my friends, is a whole other blog post!
To be continued, as they say…