For the majority of my teenage years, a typical night out with my friends from school would include mindless dancing, terribly loud singing, laughing and a mind-numbing amount of alcohol. These factors have always led to everyone having a blast and laughing about it in the morning, envisioning ourselves as something out of Sex and the City. So, you can imagine my shock when our first-night clubbing since March 2020 resulted in a screaming match between two sides in Piccadilly Circus, London Town at 4am. It is true that drinking on a night out can, for many people, lead to an altercation or falling out with friends, which begs the question: Why don’t we stop this excessive consumption of alcohol and learn to have fun without it? A ridiculous question, but valid, nonetheless.
Until it turned sour the night had been brilliant. We danced for hours to a playlist ranking second to none and met some interesting people, there was no indication that anyone would suddenly have a very public tantrum at the age of 19…
I realised on the night bus home, a sobering enough experience, that the events leading to this conflict didn’t start when we got to the club, or even at that third round of tequila shots. It all started when we went into lockdown, 18 months ago. We had gone from being school kids stressing about A levels to, as much as I hate to admit it, adults having to navigate leaving home and the strain that an international health crisis might bring. We all understand that people have changed because of this endless turmoil, but it really stings when it’s your best friend from school who is now someone you can’t entirely recognise. The girl who would hold your hair back at a house party telling you “we’ve all been there,” suddenly becomes the person telling you that “you’re being immature,” and asking, “who was the idiot who chose this place?!” Has it become a general rule that at 3.30am it’s suddenly the adults we have been forced to grow into making the decisions? Did we have time to say goodbye to the girls who spent their teenage years running around London having fun? As childish as it sounds, it has all happened so fast.
That moment felt really lonely. It meant that things were different and that we didn’t have the control that used to have, or at least the control we thought we had. Rest assured, this incident won’t keep me away from a good night out in the future. At least now I am mentally prepared for an argument on the Royal Mile, should it take place. Also, I suppose the mature thing to acknowledge is that everything being open once more will show many of us our own natural progression, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Think of how many people are actually introverts and didn’t realise! Or how many of us now will detest the idea of a night in!
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