Booth: My mission for the elusive perfect night out

It’s 3:47 a.m. Sunday morning. Upon returning to my humble Plex abode after a night out, I had planned to write this column on how the royal wedding coverage is making me want to start the American Revolution round two. I mean really – every news outlet has been hocking royal wedding trivia for months now and frankly the seating chart for the reception just isn’t that interesting anymore. Oh wait, Elton John is going to be sitting next to an oppressive Middle Eastern dictator? Just kidding, I’m interested again.

But luckily a much more intellectual topic struck me tonight, and it just can’t be ignored: The seemingly never ending quest for the perfect night out at Northwestern. People – and by that I mean myself, since I like nothing more than projecting my opinions onto society as a whole – wander aimlessly from party to party looking for the ellusive ideal of how a college night out should be.

Some are in search of free alcohol, others are trying to track down friends or orchestrate an opportunity to creep Nicki Minaj-style on that special someone. And I don’t mean to be a downer, but it seems like going out never lives up to the expectations. Despite the reputation that Northwestern students have been getting for being a bunch of drunk, belligerent party animals, we are just generally not that good at partying. And if Evanston residents want to disagree, they should go visit a state school for a weekend.

Tonight is a case in point. We left Plex and went to the Keg, but – surprise – we couldn’t get in. After standing in the rain chatting with a homeless man, and then watching a drunk girl vomit on the sidewalk and be subsequently whisked away in an ambulance, we left. Then we began the epic trek to an apartment party at Fridge, but that was busted before we got there. After that, we ended up at yet another party, this time in the frat quad, but that was winding down by the time we arrived.

Basically, life was rough. And we’ve all been there: those nights where you waste time primping for longer than you’d like to admit only to find yourself standing in line under the accusing glare of the florescent lights in the BK Lounge. Or even worse you get dressed up and don’t even make it out the door because there is a True Life marathon. Rock bottom.

But it seems like the real disappointment lies not in the failed parties themselves, but in how the reality compares to our expectations. As NU students, even when it comes to drinking and partying, we like to feel as though we are in control and have a plan. And when it goes awry some of us struggle to go with the flow.

Don’t try to deny it. We’d all like to appear nonchalant, but I would wager to guess that we’re all more similar that one would expect, regardless of our social circles.

Now that I’ve got you feeling all existential – or thinking “why is this worthy of The Daily” – I can share some good news that my semi-sober friend just gave me: The perfect night is out there, NU. Like the golden snitch in a game a Quidditch, it is waiting to be caught – if you’re with the right people in the right place at the right time. But the key to avoiding disappointment during the less-than-stellar nights might just be simply lowering our expectations and going with the flow. We aren’t a state school. So go forth and scour Evanston for free alcohol, bounce between parties trying to find your drunken friends and covertly stalk the super awesome guy or gal of your dreams. Just leave the idealistic miracles for a Taylor Swift song.

And obviously I need to go to bed right now. But you’re picking up what I’m laying down, right NU? I hope so, because I really think we all need to dispose of our nightlife fantasies for NU and take advantage of what reality has to offer, even though it might be a bit of a dud sometimes.

Samantha Booth is a Medill junior. She can be reached at [email protected]