Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: Going to the bars is overhyped

The bars are exciting, but they are not as chaotic as everyone makes them out to be.

On Jan. 5, I turned 21, and I was finally able to go to the bars with all of my friends. I had been waiting so long for this day because they always talked about their crazy bar experiences and how fun it was to go out almost every weekend.

I have never had a problem trying to find a table even if the bar was packed. I have also yet to witness a bar fight or get a drink spilled on me. So it is hard to believe everything my friends tell me when I haven’t seen anything unhinged.

All the upperclassmen I know have always talked so highly of going out to the bars when you’re 21, but not all of the bars I have been to have lived up to what I expected them to be. Some of the bars are loud and crazy, but a lot of them are just chill places to sit and talk with your friends.

This year, my birthday fell on a Wednesday, which is not a day most people go out to the bars. On top of that, only a handful of my friends were in town to actually celebrate with me. I ended up just going to Brothers Bar & Grill for lunch and drinks with my mom and then to Upstairs Pub for a few drinks with my friend Abby.

Both of those bars were great, but they were described to me as “insane bars.” They were actually pretty chill when I went. I wanted to go crazy on my first week of being 21, but I was mostly just sitting at a table drinking with friends. I could have gotten the same effect by getting alcohol from a liquor store and sitting in my apartment with my friends while we drank.

A couple weekends ago, I went on a bar crawl with some friends. We went to Brothers, Kalao, Nick’s English Hut and Upstairs. Although I went into the night knowing that none of those places were super wild, I was still shocked at how empty and relaxed they were.

The night after the bar crawl, I also went to The Jungle at Kilroy’s Sports Bar. So many of my friends have described that place as “the craziest place you will ever go.” It was super enjoyable and I am glad that I got to experience it, but I was expecting to get pushed and shoved everywhere because of how packed it was supposed to be. In reality, it was just like any other dance floor I have been on.

I think the reason some of my upperclassmen friends think the bars are more exciting than I do might be because they were able to go out before the pandemic hit. There were probably way more people who went out before the pandemic. There was more freedom and less restrictions because you did not have to worry about getting sick if you went out. I was never able to go out before the pandemic, so I don’t know if things were different before or not.

Do not get me wrong, it was amazing and I will be going back. It was just not what I was expecting it to be. 

The Jungle at Kilroy’s Sports Bar was by far my favorite because it was exciting being on the dance floor with my friends. I’m just not a “sit down at a table and drink” kind of person. If you aren’t either I would recommend The Jungle or even Kalao, which has a pretty fun nightclub.

When you are 21, I definitely recommend going out to the bars with friends. I promise they are not as scary as others make it out to be. Just keep an open mind when going out to the bars and try everywhere at least once. 

Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.

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