‘(verb) The act of drinking alcohol before you go out to the club to maximise your fun at the club while spending the least amount on extremely overpriced alcoholic beverages…’
This is the definition given by the Urban Dictionary for pre-drinking. Though a slightly cringe-worthy explanation, this summarises the purpose of the all-important ‘prinks’ in a nutshell for most of us. This can also provide an answer when a bewildered mum, dad or grandma asks incredulously, ‘why are you drinking BEFORE going out?’ Indeed, ‘maximising fun’ is indeed why pre-drinking has become a staple part of any night out, not to mention the financial benefits.
According to a variety of internet sources, the rise of pre-drinking began around ten years ago, when ‘the youth’ realised that they could get in the party mood by drinking at home for a fraction of the cost of buying a few pints in a pub. There could also have been the added novelty of irritating parents and older generations, which pre-drinking certainly appears to do; The Telegraph, for example, condemned it as an act young people do ‘out of fear of nightclubs’ in a May 2014 article. This is a valid point, as alcohol is renowned for being a confidence-booster, but I’m sure most of us would agree that the main purpose is to get ‘in the mood’ for a night out in a cost-effective manner. Undeniably, there is also the social aspect to a pre-drinking session. Attempting to conduct a conversation in a nightclub can be akin to trying to chat in the middle of a warzone, so pre-drinks is often the best place to mingle and socialise. Particularly at university, it offers a welcome chance to meet new people and make new friends.
Personally I would rather not waster time hanging around the bar when there is plenty of horrendously embarrassing dancing to be done
Pre-drinking is indeed a fundamental part of any night out at university. At home in my glamorous hometown of Stoke-on-Trent, pre-drinks were considered fun but not a necessity. At university, it’s hard to imagine heading out to Crisis or Ocean without knocking back a few drinks beforehand. A large part of this is due to the cost; 10 cans of Thatcher’s cost £9 from Tesco, for example, whereas one cider in a club can be around £3.30. It can also be easier to do a large chunk of the night’s drinking before going out, as personally I would rather not waste time hanging around the bar when there is plenty of horrendously embarrassing dancing to be done. A night out can be extremely cheap for students thanks to the wonders of the pre-drink.
As well as extremely cheap, however, we all know that it can be extremely disastrous. Nobody wants to be that person who passes out and has to be put to bed before they’ve even left the flat. Pre-drinking should be about socialising with friends and getting in the party spirit rather than getting paralytic and vomiting on somebody’s shoes.
With drinks in clubs seemingly becoming more and more expensive, supermarket deals on alcohol are becoming more and more attractive
All in all, pre-drinking is one of the staple parts of any night out, and looks set to remain that way. With drinks in clubs seemingly becoming more and more expensive, supermarket deals on alcohol are becoming more and more attractive. The social aspect is also one of the main benefits of a pre-drinks session. So next time an older family member questions why you aren’t waiting until you’re out before the drinks start flowing, point out the money you’re saving and the new friends you’re making, and they will soon be convinced.
Photo Credit: Sebastian Surendar via Flickr.