Early 20s done with going out?

Is anyone else in their early 20s sort of over going out?

As some background, I went to a massive party school where drinking heavily 3 nights a week was the norm. I drank a little in high school but really stepped it up in college. I lived at home during COVID as I started my program virtually, and honestly was kind of depressed with everything going on so only drank a handful of times as a result. Now living in the city for ~3 months (mostly with friends from school), obviously going out is still a big part of my social scene. I think maybe its just because I took a "year off" but I just genuinely don't enjoy it anymore and feel like I am just wasting a lot of money to get hammered and not really get anything in return, except wasting a few days feeling like crap. Especially given where my tolerance is I am getting drunker than I used to get more consistently, which I think is playing into it as well. Thinking back over the past year I came around to not drinking as much and having the clearer state of mind and getting to experience other new things. 

This is not to say I am looking to quit drinking entirely, I certainly enjoy drinking socially on dates/dinner and going to more casual bars, but I think I am just over raging until 4am. Anyone have similar feelings? Any advice? I worry that this culture is just so embedded in my personal life that it would have negative ramifications for taking a step back.

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Comments (37)

Most Helpful
Nov 16, 2021 - 11:47am

Sounds like you're just maturing my guy. Once you reach the back half of your 20's you'll start picking your spots like savage bach parties / reasons to celebrate something. The sooner you realize bending every weekend is counterproductive, the better (IMO). 

Nov 16, 2021 - 12:04pm

I have been feeling the same way as of late. I enjoy the casual drinks but staying out until 4 am every weekend and being hungover until Tuesday is tough to do. Have definitely shifted away from that over the past 3 months (summer was a different story). Saving it now for the certain occasions. 

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  • Associate 1 in RE - Comm
Nov 16, 2021 - 12:08pm

I'm kinda the same way but late 20s. Few main things I do:

1) Drink less. I order a lot of water when I go out. Some people might notice. If you care about that, get a sparkling water with a straw or something. Non alcoholic beers are also decent but you have to pay for them.
2) Leave early. In my experience, nothing that interesting happens after midnight. Everyone's belligerent and anyone you exchange numbers with you likely won't meet ever again. There's so little to gain.

3) When you leave early, order or go pick up some food. And drink a bunch of water with it.

Doing these three things keeps me feeling pretty good the next day

  • Research Analyst in AM - FI
Nov 16, 2021 - 7:29pm

Thanks man, some solid advice. Have considered doing similar things but usually end up staying with the crowd. I always struggle when I know I'm not having a good time to just call it instead of just doubling down, but I guess the more I realize it and try for it it'll probably be more intuitive.

  • Analyst 2 in PE - LBOs
Nov 17, 2021 - 5:18am

No matter how much you drink, just drink more water... That's the antidote for hangovers lol. It made a big impact on me once I discovered it. I can't order water while I am partying, but when I go home, I drink one glass after the other until I can't drink anymore. Then next morning booom, no hangover. Caveat is that you might wake up in the middle of your sleep to pee lol

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Nov 16, 2021 - 12:12pm

Went to a huge party school and graduating soon. Feel the same way. Peaked early I guess rip

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2021 - 11:01pm

Lmao I'm a sophomore feeling like this. I guess I just find it more memorable when spending quality time instead of getting shitfaced

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 16, 2021 - 10:36pm

I stopped that late-night shit 4 years ago when I was 23, after graduating from college.

I never liked that social scene. Sure, I don't get that 2am booty call, so what? My time and health are much more valuable.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 16, 2021 - 10:49pm

Feel the exact same way. I'm 24 so it's still obviously a part of my friend group's scene, but doesn't do as much for me as it used to.

That and I LOVE having my mornings on weekends to do stuff rather than being asleep/hungover. Grab coffee, go for a walk, workout, run some errands, etc. I find it super relaxing since I don't really have much free time during the week.

Nov 17, 2021 - 5:02am

Bro im 27 and if I stay awake past midnight I genuinely get brain fog the next morning and can't function anymore (at least not the standards im used to). Stopped partying maybe 4 years ago now just the occasional glass of wine with close friends. I don't even get hammered on New Years anymore lmao. 

Nov 17, 2021 - 8:20am

Get a drink and nurse it the whole night, that way you always have a drink in your hand.

When someone hands you a shot, do your best to pass it off to someone else.

Around midnight, just do an Irish goodbye.

Nov 17, 2021 - 9:19am

Save the wild late nights for special occasions (holidays, when you can get your friends together - gets harder as you age). As you get older and see your friends even less, you realize that it's more fun to enjoy each others company than going to a club or loud bar. Ex: getting a new bourbon and just shooting the shit on someones porch or at a nicer cocktail bar

Once you reach a certain age (late 20s and beyond) it becomes a red flag if someone has to go out until 2am every weekend night. Dont get me wrong, still love to throw down, but it's usually indicative of some other behavior (low self esteem, attention seeking, etc.). You start to value people more with real hobbies/interests and realize that going out late all the time just ruins your weekends quite a bit. Sounds weird but eventually nice saturday and sunday mornings can beat a friday or saturday night out

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Nov 17, 2021 - 2:33pm

I'm in the same boat man. Was going to comment on this post but honestly felt embarrassed. I had a pretty crappy college life and didn't get to experience any of these things. This is definitely an anomaly thread though I'd think. Plenty of people still clubbing (albeit typically in major cities usually like Miami LA NYC) well into their 30s. Little tricky now to find time with IB, but I truly believe nothing wrong with having this party life style into your 30s if you're financially stable.

Nov 17, 2021 - 5:37pm

Oh yeah for sure, if (like you said) you are financially stable + take good care of yourself, it isn't over for us. But yeah it's a bit depressing to think about how it seems like everyone here really enjoyed their college years while I was holed up in my room just grinding away. Hopefully it pays off for both of us and we can have some fun soon

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Cov
Nov 17, 2021 - 5:29pm

Feeling the same already. I'm about to graduate from a party school and I can't see myself drinking like this ever again. Barely sustainable even in the college environment. 

Nov 17, 2021 - 5:38pm

I want to cuff a girl and then semi-retire from the lifestyle. I would still be down to go out but infrequently. I want to nurse my one or two drinks the whole night if i do go out.

I did not party too often in college so I am okay with going a bit hard right now.

Interested in health tech, consulting, and entrepreneurship.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 17, 2021 - 11:55pm

going out is only fun if you can get laid that night with some hot chicks. I'll never grow out of this phase if I score models every week.

Nov 18, 2021 - 4:24am

25 and still going out on nights, with the difference of taking maximum 1-2 drinks and enjoying the plan sober (yes, this is doable). I guess by the time I have a very formal gf I will pass, but right now living in another city far away from mine and being ""single"" it is fine.

But definitely a big no to hangovers.

"Anyway, four dollars a pound"

  • VP in RE - Comm
Nov 18, 2021 - 1:38pm

I'm 30 and hit it one night a week. Can no longer do the Thursday, Friday, Saturday series anymore. I'm also single, I would probably have very little interest if I was in a relationship. Stimulants help. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 18, 2021 - 2:32pm

I am in the exact same boat and I feel bad about it. Drank every night in college and loved it. I miss it a ton actually but something about just being at a bar with like 3-4 friends is depressing. I feel like I should be enjoying New York City nightlife but I can't help feel like it's shit. East village is boring, crowded bars, hard to talk to, dudes with flannels, etc. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong spots?

Nov 18, 2021 - 8:47pm

Thought it was just me. After spending a year at home where all I did was lift, run and golf. Waking up banged up and in pain just isn't it any more. However going to bars still the best way to get chicks so I do it at least 1x a week.

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Nov 18, 2021 - 11:40pm

I couldn't really party as much in college due to my financial situation, long commute, living with parents, and going to a CUNY with no campus life. Commuted one way 1 hr 30 min. Also worked part-time and was broke. I went to lots of raves but my commute made other types of socializing a chore, and I had really really bad social anxiety that I didn't start fixing until my last year in college.

My situation post-college has gotten much better, especially as I now live in the city and on my own. Nothing beats having a 10-30 min commute and being able to meet people for coffee without the risk of being late thanks to MTA. I now party whenever the opportunity comes up, and want to state there is nothing wrong with partying at any age. If I went to Penn State and chugged gross Coors Light beers every day, then I understand why someone after 4 years just wants to pornhub and chill at home.

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Nov 19, 2021 - 8:12am

This is normal. It took me a bit longer to figure this out but partying at clubs and bars regularly is not attractive to me for a few reasons. There are certainly some generalizations that might irk some people but these are my reasons for not going out and drinking as much as I used to. 

1) You are paying 10x more to drink at an establishment where many of the employees have disdain for their customers. I can't count the number of times I've been treated rudely or even swindled by getting overcharged. It happens way too often, and I feel like a mentally challenged mark every time I subject my self to this type of experience.

2) You are in a crowded area full of belligerent assholes, not everyone but a lot of people, that you don't know. Again, you are paying 10x as much to drink to be around people you don't know. If you go out enough, you'll be put in a situation where you have to defend yourself, a friend, or date/gf when things go awry. There is a non zero chance of going to jail or be hospitalized every time you go out.

3) The club and bar scene is vapid and emotionally empty. I'm not saying you can't make connections but a majority of people who frequently go out into their late twenties and thirties share values on how they spend their money and time different than mine. I don't care for an extravagant consumption based lifestyle nor do I care about showing off to others.

4) Health and money. These reasons are straightforward so I won't elaborate here.

For some context, I was in a fraternity in college and most of friends from school wouldn't have ever believed that I'd write what I just did. I used to go out and party 3x every week and everyday during the summer. My priorities and values changed and seems like you have came to experience some similar changes.

Nov 30, 2021 - 11:56pm

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Dec 1, 2021 - 1:49am

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