- Image via The Daily Meal
College bars run the gamut from moderately classy establishment to being so shitty they make the average biker bar look like a swanky New York night club. We love them during undergrad, because they’re the only places that accept our obviously fake former Pokemon cards turned IDs as valid forms of personal identification. They ask fewer questions about things of questionable legality than the NSA, which is good, because if they did ask questions, your poorly-constructed story about being 23 and native to Rhode Island would fall apart faster than Britney Spears’ Las Vegas marriage.
Even though we all love our favorite college bars (and you know which bar in your town immediately springs to mind), they suck. All of them. Top to bottom. For one reason or another, they have a gigantic, glaring character flaw that no real adult would overlook. However, we aren’t real adults. At least not yet. College has this weird habit of not actually acting like the rest of the civilized world, kind of like its own little pocket of anarchy. As a result, our bars are generally the kind of places that, 20 years from now, most of us will enter and react like we just got hit in the face with a baseball bat, metaphorically and literally speaking — lots of pain, followed by confusion, then maybe three to five days in the hospital from a concussion. “Goddamn those rowdy 20-somethings and their glass bottle throwing,” you’ll say from your hospital bed, probably unable to remember that you did the same thing when you were in college. At least, that’s how my parents reacted when I took them back to Cornerstone here in College Park. Luckily, it was daytime so no bottles were being thrown.
Getting back to the issue in question, your favorite bar sucks. It sucks because it inevitably thrives on the premise that no one there is going to be over the 25, at least not anyone who is there frequently. As a result, the drinks will be cheap, but terrible, the bartenders will be slow, but respond well to tips and the music will be danceable, but almost 100% guaranteed to be some shitty upstart DJ’s Spotify masturbation playlist.
The people there will be your classmates, which is great, but that also means that, by senior year, the bar turns into a who’s who of hookups past, like some fucked up college sex-based adaptation of A Christmas Carol. You’ll see the ghost of hookups past, search for the ghost of hookups present to take home for the night, and maybe even introduce yourself to the ghost of hookups future, a.k.a. the crazy bitch that will be your next ex-girlfriend. Your night, much like Scrooge’s, will be filled with memories, laughter, pain and maybe even a drunken makeout session with an ex. From experience, don’t do that.
If you’ve gone there to dance, expect the music to be passable at best. For drunken grinding, it should be perfect if the DJ knows what he’s doing. If he doesn’t, he’ll spend the night actually trying to DJ instead of throwing on something with a consistent beat. The amount of drunken frustration this will cause cannot actually be quantified, because every time you go to make a move on the hot blonde you’re dancing with, the song changes and it kills the mood. You cannot follow up “In Da Club” with “Wagon Wheel,” turntable illiterate chucklefuck on the DJ stand.
Just because it sucks, it doesn’t mean you can’t love it. My favorite bars in College Park, Cornerstone and Looneys, are awful, but I love them just the same. Every bar in a college town is going to be a mess for one reason or another, but that’s part of the fun. After all, we suck at going to bars in college, so why shouldn’t our bars stoop to our level?