The United States of America is almost like two countries depending on the time of day. By day you have a plentiful array of activities to choose from but the real fun begins after the sun sets and the street lights begin to flicker on one by one. As a college student, nightlife activities are arguably one the best thing about studying in America (apart from access to a great education).
So you may be wondering, what is nightlife in the US as an international student like? This is a loaded question since depending on where you study, your age and personal preference, nightlife can take on a number of forms.
If you like to dance, in most cities and college towns there are 18 and older dance clubs. Going to these establishments is known as “going clubbing.” Clubbing is typically from the hours of 10PM until the club closes or when you feel like leaving. If you are over the legal drinking age of 21 then you can also partake in a couple of alcoholic beverages. Even without drinking alcohol, clubs can be a lot of fun- you can dance the night away with your friends. Clubs always have soft drinks and water available for purchase, and will often supply these for free to the designated driver.
It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings though and to use the buddy system to be safe. It’s always suggested to out with a group of friends to have a safe and fun time! Dancing is a great social activity and you may even make friends while out at the club. The key is to dance like nobody’s watching and to just be yourself!
Bars & Breweries
So maybe dancing isn’t your scene. A relaxing alternative to the high energy club life is going to a bar or brewery. Many bars also serve some tasty food and provide a quieter environment for you and your friends to hang out at. Breweries are fun and while they typically only serve beer or wine to drink they always provide a friendly atmosphere, and people often bring their dogs to hang out! Plus, many breweries offer tours that give you a back-lot look at the inner workings and history of the company. What could be better than hanging out with your friends, gaining a bit of knowledge and playing with some cute dogs?
Another US nightlife option to consider is attending a concert. At anytime of the year some of your favorite recording artists may be playing in your city! Someone you may have dreamed about seeing perform live could be coming to your college town or a city nearby, next year major pop stars such as Harry Styles, Lorde and Katy Perry will be going on tour. Concerts usually start around seven or eight o’clock and can go until eleven at night or much later! Seeing one of your favorite musicians with your new friends is a bonding experience that you will remember forever.
A timeless American tradition is the “house party.” A house party usually takes place close to campus and is comprised of your peers hanging out and playing fun party games to get to know each other. While some of your peers may choose to partake in alcoholic beverages you can also have a great time sipping on water, juice, coffee or any other drink while having meaningful conversations with attendees.
Unlike at a club or bar where people tend to talk more with the friends they came with instead of socializing with the people around them, at a house party you can talk to all kinds of people and really have the chance to make new friends. If you’re having a good conversation with a new friend, ask for their phone number or to connect on your favorite social media platform. Who knows, you may be able to start a study group or intramural team with them.
Now you’re prepared to experience nightlife, the American way! Just remember to keep in mind of your surroundings and to make good choices to always have a great night out.