Pregaming When You’re 27 Vs. Pregaming When You’re In College

Pregaming. An American pastime. What sets the tone for the rest of the night. Every good night starts with a solid pregame, but as an aging 20-something, you begin to realize that, maybe, you just can’t hang anymore.

Here are all the important ways pregaming changes when the glory years of college are long behind you and you’re entering your late 20’s.

1. Duration.

When you were in college, the pregame commenced the moment you walked out of your Friday class and didn’t end until you decided it was time to arrive fashionably late to your next destination.

When you’re 27, your pregame is maybe an hour long, and that’s only because you’re actually still getting ready. You’ll sip on your Jack & Coke, while you continue to stare into your closet and look at the same 2 shirts. Sure, the fact that you’re still getting ready when you should be drinking isn’t ideal, but you have to make up for lost time considering you just binge watched 8 hours of The Office for the fifth time this month.

2. Alcohol.

In college, choosing what you were to drink for the night was similar to pairing a fine wine with just the right cheese. But instead of deciding if that ’82 Bordeaux goes with Brie, you were faced with what $10.00 knock off fifth of alcohol went perfectly with your 30 rack (Admiral Nelson—the answer was always Admiral Nelson).

Nowadays, you limit yourself to just one alcohol variety. There is no mixing and matching. And then, there is everything else you have to take into consideration: Do I need to wake up early? Do I want to work out tomorrow? I should, but do I? Is my family visiting? Or even worse, do I need to grocery shop? There is absolutely nothing worse than having to find your week’s supply of kale (because that’s what you eat at 27 for “health”) while hungover—especially in a city grocery store. City grocery stores are a special kind of hell.

3. Music.

In college, you had your music cranked up so that anyone halfway across campus could hear. It’s how you let everyone know you were ready for the night’s festivities. Nothing said I’m ready to party like “Thunderstruck” on max volume.

Now? The music is at a solid 3, people are capable of having full conversations, and you notice that no one boos you or gives you a hard time for the Nickelback song that just came up on your shuffle on “accident.” That’s because everyone is too immersed in Ashley’s story about her new Scentsy that is making her whole apartment smell “AH-MAZING!” Yep, this is life now. Gone are the days of shot gunning beer after beer and transforming the kitchen table into a dance floor. I’ll be damned if I even walk into my apartment with shoes on, let alone have the balls to step on my table.

4. Consumption.

Easily the saddest, most eye-opening realization is that is the amount you’re capable of drinking within that time. College? You would rip shots until you noticed half of your fifth somehow magically disappeared, but you didn’t show so much as a wobble. People continually handing you shots, you’d lose count at just how much you drank.

Now? You can literally count your drinks on a single hand. It’s devastating. Even more devastating is that you find yourself chasing your Bud Light with a WATER, which makes no sense given it practically IS water. I know that College-me would punch 27-year-old-me for this type of behavior. What you find out, though, is that the side water is key to survival at 27—hydration is no joke. Consider it your new wingman.

It’s a different world at 27.

But, you’ll always have the glory days of college to look back on fondly and appreciate for years because, really, was there anything better?