In my first year of university, I had the pleasure to live on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, one of the most dangerous roads in Norfolk and one of England’s worst drinking areas in terms of late-night violence. While it might not have been for everyone, I honestly loved the feeling of being at the heart of the city’s nightlife and counted myself week in week out as one of the thousands of club-goers descending onto the strip. For me, nightclubs are a way to relive stress, relax and enjoy yourself alongside scores of friends and strangers, and represent a sort of coming together of people of all different backgrounds to lose yourself in the dance.
by Robyn Banks
This weekend, thousands of freshers will descend on University towns across the UK, and pubs, clubs and takeaways prepare themselves for busy nights and big takings. Four years ago I was a fresher in Norwich, and this week my younger sister is hitting the town in Brighton for the first time. Before either of us even arrived in our respective new towns, we knew the score: pre-drinks, pub, club, after-drinks. Our party dresses were the first to be packed and the first to be unpacked.
We grow up in a culture where we know that the first year of university is about drinking, surrounded by tales of students who spend more money on beer than on food and the collective assumption that this is what our maintenance loans are for, and gently edged towards arranging our own priorities similarly. If the entire first year is not about drinking, then fresher’s week definitely is. That’s the first weekend and the first week. And the second weekend. And some of the second week. Fact.
by Jo Swo
It’s not exactly radical to say we live in a victim blaming society. I’m not just referring to sexual assault either, which that phrase is now so well associated with. We are blamed, and blame others, for drinking too much, staying out too late, not planning journeys home, going out in the first place, and leaving drinks unattended to go for a quick smoke outside. As a consumer, you are held accountable for everything that could possibly happen, whether or not it’s in you control, because you chose to put yourself in that position (i.e in a club/bar).
Going out is a fantastic paradox, because it’s when people want to relax, drink, and let down their guard, but the environment you’re in is universally accepted as unpredictable and often dangerous. You pay for the privilege to step onto private property, it could be in the form of a stamp at the front door or a drink at the bar, and you are left to your own devices (or the devices of others).