Why do First Years go ‘Out’?

By Ashleigh Hellstrom

As a student, especially a Rhodes student, you have probably been briefed in the ways of the nightlife. As exams loom closer marking the end of the first semester it is almost a given that every student at Rhodes University has found their way to, or ended up in, one of the few clubs that Grahamstown has to offer. For some this only had to happen once for them to realise that life wasn’t for them, that the pounding music, stench of alcohol, and drunks just weren’t their scene. Others, however, keep going back for more.

Below are some of the interviews I did on record. Each of the interviewees had a similar yet different answer for all of the questions.

: Okay well going out in general is to just relax; to not do the same thing every day. And going out to the places that I go out on a Friday is because I’m a Rhodes students and this is Grahamstown and let’s be honest there isn't much else to do here.
Nonkosi Matrose, 18, Bjourn

Q: What do you do as evening entertainment?

A: It depends, but mostly it’s going out to social gatherings, the club, like Friars mostly. Going out and watching a movie, watching the stars, drinking, dancing.

Q: When is it that you go out?

A: Legit only Fridays.

Q: Why do you go out?

A: Okay well going out in general is to just relax; to not do the same thing every day. And going out to the places that I go out on a Friday is because I’m a Rhodes students and this is Grahamstown and let’s be honest there isn’t much else to do.

Daniel
Daniel Goldberg, 19, Bjourn

Q: What do you do as evening entertainment?

A: I either go out with friends, or sit in my room and study with a group of people. Evenings normally start with pre-drinks in someone’s room then heading out to, Friars, Rat or Champs. Going ‘out’ for me means leaving my res and spending time with anyone anywhere at all. Spending time with my friends just doing whatever it is that they have planned for an evening.

Q: When is it that you go out?

A: After midday is when I allow myself to be more social. From midday till about 1 am is fine; a good night. I don’t have specifically set evenings that I go out. Going out could happen at any time, it mainly depends what my friends are doing or what their plans are.

Q: Why do you go out?

A: The reason I want to go out and be social, or why I do it is because I grew up struggling to be social, struggling to make connections with people because of my past. So I go out and see people and be social with my friends because I know how lucky I am to actually have friends. I just want to maximise my time and pleasure with them.

Nat
Natasha Lousie Balmer, 18, BSc.

Q: What do you do as evening entertainment?

A: I am quite a diverse person so I go and do different things, so it depends on how I’m feeling. If I’m wanting to go out and dance and have fun then genuinely we go out to Rat or Friars to maybe get a drink and some dancing time. Otherwise I sit in my room and watch series, read and chill. Spend some time with my friends, if that means going up to their res’s or just chilling with them. Spending time with my brother getting ice-cream and going up to the monument, it depends hey. Oh and playing my guitar and drawing when I have time. Sitting and drinking wine on Drosty Lawns (laughter).

Q: When is it that you go out?

A: Sometimes over the weekends and maybe the odd Wednesday but otherwise when I have time. And maybe a Monday night if I’m feeling riskay, forget the dawny on Tuesday.

Q: Why do you go out?

A: It depends, if you’re talking about going out to Friars and to Rat then it’s time for you to interact with people who, during class time, you don’t get to talk to as much. If you go to Rat for drinks then you can sit and talk to them, get to know them better. Dancing relieves a bit of stress and just clears my head.

Through this I have realised that first years are all individuals that have their own ideals, likes and dislikes, they are all people who are still trying to decide who it is that they are or want to be. Each person I spoke to had their own reasoning for wanting to go out and I suppose that it is their right to be able to decide why it is that they go out, just as it is in their right not to tell me any ‘deep’ reasoning behind it. Just as it is a choice not to drink or sleep around it is a choice as to how first years spend their night and if going out and drinking is what they want then that is up to them too.

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