One minute you’re 18, with bad hair and more energy than an ADHD-afflicted chipmunk. And the world? Well, it’s your exciting, sweaty, party-filled oyster that you’re just raring to rip open.
You want to be in the thick of everything, you’re loving life so much you sound like a McDonald’s advert, and you have no idea just how lucky you are to be young, free and singularly the only thing you really care about.
Then, before you know it, you can see 30 on the horizon, you’ve realised you can’t stand up for more than half an hour without your back hurting, and you’ve aged like a not-so-fine Aldi wine you paid £3 for.
To show you just how much 10 years changes everything, we’re rounding up the differences between going out in your late teens vs your late twenties.
And if this sounds like it was written by a 28-year-old with a bad hangover… Well. Hi.
GOING OUT ON A SCHOOL NIGHT?
Late teens: Let’s be honest, every night is basically a Saturday when you’re a teenager. You’ll suffer through 3 hours of sleep at uni or work, for the sake of yet another sick night out.
In fact, you even prefer going out on Thursdays, due to the lack of people over the age of 30 dad-dancing in your direction to try and buy you a drink. Urgh.
Late 20s: Not. A. Chance.
You still need to portion out your pasta into tupperware for tomorrow, catch-up on the latest ITV murder series so you’ve actually got something to talk to your colleagues about, AND then you’ve got to get up at 6am to get your porridge ready, so said colleagues are fully aware that you’re the PICTURE of health.
Unless it’s a blood relative’s birthday (or an alcohol-free trip to the cinema for Meerkat Wednesdays, or whatever the hell it’s called) going out on a school night just ain’t gonna happen.
HOW DO YOU GET READY?
Late teens: When you’re 18, getting ready is a ritual that’s as important to the night out as the standard-procedure kebab on the way home.
There’s music, laughter, and many shared hair appliances. And then, after approximately 6 and a half hours, you’re only a couple of hours from being completely ready to ring a cab.
Late 20s: Now, when given the option of napping for an extra twenty minutes or starting to get ready, there’s only one answer – and it involves dribbling on the nearest sofa cushion until your pissed off mate rings and wakes you up.
In actual fact, that mate is lucky if you’ve had the energy to wash your hair or put on a ‘going out top’. Most of the time you just flake out and cancel.
WHAT’S PRE-DRINKS LIKE?
Late teens: There’s no doubt about it, pre-drinks is THE reason you even organise a night out in your teens.
Yes, they often begin with sh*t chat and plenty of awkward introductions. BUT, by the time the taxi’s at the door, the brutal drinking games, the new friends, and the lack of money spent make this magical time one of the best of your teenage/early uni years.
You lucky sods.
Late 20s: While you could invite people round to your house for a few drinks, you’d probably have to hoover. So no.
Instead, you’ll meet at a restaurant where you’ll all drink a few glasses of wine and importantly, order the biggest meal you can handle to soak up all the alcohol to come.
WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?
Late teens: Literally anything that has an alcohol content.
Seriously, from Russian-sounding vodka from the offy, wine that is simply called WINE on the label, and the last dregs of a can that guys like Craig left behind when they went to the toilet, you’ll drink anything when you’re a teenager.
Late 20s: Craft beer that’s £5 for a half-pint, wine from Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference range, and vodka… When it’s part of a delicious artisan cocktail.
Just thinking about Sambuca and how you used to drink it in droves is enough to give you PTSD.
WHEN ARE YOU LEAVING?
Late teens: Time isn’t important to you. You’re above time. You’re not controlled by something so finite, so flippin’ linear as the hands on the clock face.
This isn’t a night, this is an experience, and you’ll be there experiencing it forever. You’ll go when you’re ready to go, not when someone tells –
Oh. The lights came on. Really? Already? AFTER PARTYYYYYYYYY.
Late 20s: You’ve been looking at your watch since 11pm and doing some serious mental arithmetic to work out the earliest acceptable time to make an excuse and leave to go watch a repeat of Question Time in bed, with YouTube cat videos during the ad breaks.
Just as an FYI, it’s 1am. The earliest acceptable time to leave from a night out is 1am. So good luck, only two hours to go.
WHAT ARE YOU EATING BEFORE YOU GO HOME?
Late teens: You’re finishing your night off with less style than it began, by getting a delicious late-night Maccy D’s.
You’ll get a large meal you’d never eat while sober, and to make sure you’ve got more food than you can handle, you’ll also get some chicken nuggets with it too. Maybe a 20 box?
Late 20s: Ah, it’s nice to see some things never change.
Except your metabolism. That’s definitely changed. Damn.
HOW’S YOUR HEAD THE MORNING AFTER?
Late teens: Meh, you’ve got a bit of a dry mouth, but that’s nothing some flat Lucozade and a bacon sandwich won’t fix.
To be honest, you’re so fine you’re probably planning your next night out.
Late 20s: This is it, you’re literally dying.
Alright, maybe not literally. But you’re definitely out of action for at least a week. It’s just gonna be you, your headache, a delivery guy, and plenty of Netflix and chill.
And by this age, Netflix and chill really does mean Netflix and chill.
Thankfully, you know we’re always here with open arms – welcoming ALL, young and old.
So, whether you’ve got the energy of a Duracell bunny on a Rumbull, OR you’re starting to resemble Clint Eastwood (how old IS that guy?) we’ll have ya.
Go on, book your table!