Despite what the more energetic among us will say, the night is not always young.
There is a time to call it a day, cut your losses and get out of there before it’s too late. But when is this elusive window?
Southampton nights out run on a slightly different schedule to nights out in other university cities.
For many of us, it is perfectly normal to arrive at a club before 11 in order to beat the queues or to take advantage of drink offers, whereas to others it may seem bizarre to arrive any earlier than 12 or 1.
There are arguable advantages and disadvantages to this, but those are not what we are examining today.
The Bevois Valley duo of Jesters and Sobar tend to shut their doors at 2am, and we will use this time frame as a starting point. While nobody would ever want to leave one of Southampton’s excellent clubs, there is often a time when you should, but when would this be?
10-11 PM: Unacceptable
If you’re leaving a club by 11, we can assume something has gone badly wrong. Maybe you lost a few too many odds at pre-drinks, maybe there’s been a drunken falling out between two of your friends and you’ve been called in to play Jerry Springer.
Alternatively, you’re being that guy. That “I have a lecture tomorrow morning” guy, or that “I value my dignity and my liver” guy.
While we can all respect the person who goes so hard at pres they can barely get into a club, if you’re leaving by 11, then what was the point of even trying?
11-12 PM: Improvement Needed
You made it into the club, and have had a couple of drinks to make the whole thing that little bit more bearable. The clock strikes midnight and, like a horde of drunken Cinderellas, some people decide they can’t stay any longer and disappear into the night.
There isn’t really a valid excuse for this kind of behaviour. They say that when you’re in prison, the first six months are the hardest. You wouldn’t make it past those first six months only to kill yourself a week later, so why would you endure the first hour and a bit in a club only to leave straight afterwards?
Yes, you’ve proven your ability to outlast the weaker members of the pack, but why not fight for that endurance crown? If you’re leaving a club around midnight, for any reason other than a Sambuca-induced coma, you still have work to do.
12 PM-1 AM: Vaguely Acceptable
The post-midnight hour is a slight grey area. Sure, it’s better than falling at the first hurdle. It even gives you some bragging rights in relation to those who left before midnight, and that’s always a plus.
However, leaving before 1 AM is only slightly more acceptable than the conduct of the very people you have the bragging rights over.
Leaving in this time frame just screams “My heart was never really in it”. It has that ominous, calculated feel, like you were only there because of an obligation, not out of choice. While your effort is acknowledged and appreciated, there is room for improvement.
1-2 AM: Acceptable
Leaving a club just after one o’clock in the morning has its perks. Around this time, clubs will begin to empty themselves of couples, the more sensible, the tired.
Chick-o-land and Subway will be a hub of activity, tempting in the creatures of the night with the haunting aroma of fried chicken nuggets and wholesale-brand ketchup.
If you have a tutorial the next morning, this is an acceptable time to leave. The same can be said for those with sporting commitments, deadlines, or those of you who have gone through consecutive nights out.
It is a time which says ‘I tried’, and there is no shame in admitting defeat. But Jesters and Co. have claimed the dignity of many great men and women over the years, you don’t have to be one of them.
After 2AM: Admirable Effort
If you’re in Jesters or Sobar, 2am will spell the end of your night. You’ve made it, crossing the finish line of the marathon with a dazed smile and the dizziness that signifies an impending jesticle hangover.
By closing time, clubs are often full of desperate guys, overly-emotional girls, the sort of people you scoff at when ironically watching the Magaluf Weekender. The ability to endure these conditions is impressive, and for that we respect you.
Of course, if you have ventured into town, Switch and Cafe Parfait offer extended opening hours. Anything after 3am, and you’re likely to be met with gurning messes asking if you have any water, so God help you.
Otherwise, we hope this guide can provide you with some assistance next time you hit the clubs.
What is your favourite nightclub in Southampton? Vote here.
When is the best time to leave the club? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!