Canterbury – Where you can party all night and still get eight hours of sleep.
Think back to your last night out in Bloomington. You probably wait until 8 or 9 to really begin the evening; before that, you’re eating dinner, running errands, perhaps even finishing some homework – following the mantra “work hard, play hard.”
Nevertheless, once you begin, the fun doesn’t end until maybe 2 or 3 a.m., at the earliest.
Some of you don’t even begin until 11 or midnight and this is OK, because in Bloomington, the party lasts all night.
For the majority of students here in Canterbury, things are a bit different.
Shops in town close at 5:30 p.m., and the evening festivities tend to begin around 6 or 7.
If you’ve waited until 8 or 9, you are already far behind your peers who have knocked back three or four beers by that time.
There are a number of bars and even a club on campus here at the University of Kent, but, in local fashion, most of them close by midnight.
So if you’re really wanting to get in a good five or six hours of party, you’ve got to start earlier.
Of course there are exceptions to this rule – house parties that go on until perhaps 2 a.m. – but for those who spend their evenings out at the bars, the night ends early.
Many other international students like myself were not expecting this when we first arrived.
One girl who I went out with on the first weekend got very upset when the evening ended just before midnight.
“This is just awful,” she cried. “I can’t believe we’re going to bed already.”
While this may be offsetting at first for those of us accustomed to partying until the wee hours of the morning and beyond, there are some really nice side effects of enjoying the evening in such a manner.
If you’re done partying by midnight, you’ll probably be in bed by 1 or 2 a.m. at the latest, setting yourself up for a full night of sleep, something that I know I don’t get at IU very often.
And with all the time to rest, you may not even have to worry about a hangover.
Chances are, you’ve slept it off by the time you wake up, and you’re ready to tackle the next day.
So it’s not all that bad, and although I doubt it’s a tradition I would continue when I return, for this year it might be nice – begin the party earlier, get a full night’s rest, wake up refreshed and repeat.