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As any self-respecting recent college graduate will tell you, there’s nothing like your favorite college bar. There isn’t much better than going out for $2 pitchers on a Tuesday night or flipping a coin for free beer on Wednesdays, and you’ll never forget the night your team won the conference championship and you crowd-surfed from the bar to the bathroom–and then proceeded to violently throw up all over the walls of a bathroom stall. Ah, the memories in the corners of my mind.
The fact of the matter is that you will never feel this way about a bar ever again. “How I Met Your Mother” lied to you. There is no McLaren’s waiting for you on the other side of the rainbow. This isn’t to say that bars on the outside aren’t great–they’ll just never hold that special place in your heart ever again. No matter how much you care about a watering hole on the outside, it’ll never feel like “your place.” But it’s not all bad. Here’s why:
Your College Bar: Depending on how the bouncer feels, your fake ID is either going to pass with flying colors or he’s going to make sure you have a really shitty night.
Your Postgrad Bar: If there’s even a bouncer, he’s probably too busy having a conversation with someone or smoking to even check your ID. Unless you’re way too drunk to begin with.
Your College Bar: Let’s see, we’ve got Bud Light and Miller Light on tap, bottles of Corona, and house shots that have been sitting in a Gatorade cooler for almost two weeks. Drink it or get the fuck out.
Your Postgrad Bar: It’s the Noah’s Ark of draft beers. There are two of each kind, with one tap downstairs and one tap on the upstairs patio, naturally. It’s a beautiful sight to behold. You’ll only drink Yuengling, because it’s on the happy hour special, which brings us to…
Your College Bar: Yeah, we’ve got all of two beers on tap, but it’s dollar pitcher night. You’ll take seven? Of course you will. How about a $4 LIT while you’re at it?
Your Postgrad Bar: How the hell did I ring up a $20 bill on two beers? Plus tip?! You people are mad, MAD I tell you! Uh oh, there’s a girl down at the end of the bar giving me the eye. I wonder if she’d think it’s romantic if we shared a beer.
Your College Bar: What the hell do you need entertainment for? ESPN’s on, it’s too loud to hear, and the pool table’s been broken since McCoy harpooned that whale on it in ’96. You’re surrounded by 200 other drunken, horny college students–what more do you need?
Your Postgrad Bar: Ooooh, Karaoke Fridays? Trivia Tuesdays? AND THEY’RE DOING “SEINFELD” TRIVIA NEXT WEEK? Done. You just need to make a team. You’ll call yourselves “The Delicate Geniuses.”
Your College Bar: Free popcorn on the tables and a $6 steak sandwich so damn good it’ll make your head spin. Heaven.
Your Postgrad Bar: What the hell is a croque-monsieur and why the hell is it $15? Who charges $8 for a plate of french fries? What kind of god would allow this?
Your College Bar: Two hundred buck wild 21-year-olds (at least that’s what their IDs say) all with the sole purpose of getting their drink on and going home with something to poke on.
Your Postgrad Bar: You know the people Billy Joel described in “Piano Man?” A mixture of old drunks and overworked adults like yourself trying to drown their sorrows and lost dreams in alcohol? These are the people in your favorite bar. Try not to make any of them angry. You won’t like them when they’re angry.
Your College Bar: Like fishing with dynamite.
Your Postgrad Bar: Oh God. She’s so out of my league. Do I talk to her? What do I say? It’s been so long since I’ve done this. Is my shirt stained? Anything in my teeth? She’s looking this way–don’t look at her. Do I wave? Do I smile? What do I do? Do I buy her a drink? I should buy her a drink. What kind of drink do you think she likes? Oh God, my hair looks like shit and I look like a dumbass in this tie. Aaaaaand she’s gone.
Your College Bar: Your dorm, fraternity house, sorority house, or apartment is never more than a half a mile stumble from the bar.
Your Postgrad Bar: Are you kidding me? The subway isn’t running tonight? Motherfucking MTA. And of course there won’t be any cabs because it’s raining. I’m not walking 20 blocks home. Better call an Uber for three times the regular rate. Looks like I’m not eating this week.