Night Out Alternatives

As a very fresh first year, one of the main things I heard constantly before arriving to Leeds was how unbelievable the nightlife would be. In such a vibrant and lively city, I hadn’t realized that this meant more than just the clubs; the music scenes, the bars, the pubs, the theatres, the concerts, the exhibitions, the list goes on and on. People talked about going out so much I nearly forgot the initial reason I applied for university is to go to lectures and focus on getting a degree.

The stigma around university life is undeniably centered around the social aspect, and this is natural and an important part of growing up. It’s when you find your people and connect on closer and deeper emotional levels, gaining fulfilling friendships and making memories that last for years. You have fun on nights out together, you dance, sing, and despite the cracking headache which inevitably greets you with its stabbing sharp hug the next morning, you’ll always have a story to tell.

Yet, a fun life is also a balanced one. If by the sixth night of the week, you feel a slight desire to stay in joggers, put on a face mask and watch a movie, that is completely understandable. In fact, I would encourage you to listen to your mind and body if it is telling you to rest and clear your mind, and stay in instead. 

Mainstream media preaches wild nights out every night but it’s always good to have a break and this does not necessarily mean needing to shut yourself in your room and to be asleep by 8:30!  

So, if this sounds appealing but you’re stuck on what to do, choose an activity from this list of fun things with flat mates or friends as an alternative to going out – the perfect way to look after yourself while having fun.

  • Movie night: huddle over a laptop or pitch in and get a cheap projector and have a movie marathon night! Everyone can bring a different snack or order a pizza together, and you’ve sorted dinner too. 
  • Have a pampering session: grab some face masks from Boots and bake some brownies so you can feast on your dessert with baby-soft skin.  
  • Host a dinner party: this might come with more planning and maybe cost slightly more but if everyone chips in for ingredients, cooking together is a great bonding experience and you end up with a nice warm home-cooked meal.  
  • Host a quiz night: each of you make 10/15 questions on a particular topic, and you can decide winners’ prizes and losers’ consequences!  
  • Game night: bring some games from back home: Monopoly, Uno, Cards Against Humanity and make it a competition, scoreboard and all.  
  • PowerPoint night: each person presents a PowerPoint to the group on a random topic, the more random, the better! A good example to get you started could be ‘Shrek characters in a Come Dine With Me episode.’

Seasonal Activities  

  • Halloween: spooky season has officially ended but pumpkin carving, watching a scary movie together or thinking of a group costume theme are all good ideas for next year.
  • Christmas – it’s fast approaching! Get into the spirit by decorating a Christmas tree, stringing up some fairy lights, building a gingerbread house while listening to Christmas music or hosting a festive movie marathon. 

Partying can be exhilarating and just what you need after hours of studying, but sometimes naturally you will crave some downtime. So, the next time you feel you still have not recovered from last weekend’s endeavors, try something new together and you might find you enjoy it. Bonus; you’ll save yourself from that hangover.