By Andrew Gardewine, Contributing Writer
Photos by google.com, Andrew Gardewine
You may be someone who prefers to stay in on weekends. If so, stir things up a bit and go to your local bar; anything could happen. In my experience I’ve found that one of the best ways to entertain yourself is by going out and experiencing the world by meeting new people and seeing new things.
There is no shortage of strange, especially when it comes to college bars. For instance, back in December I was at a bar in Champaign, Illinois called Brothers where I witnessed a large shirtless man with a pre-fight bloody nose get bashed in the face by another man with a barstool. It turned into an all-out brawl between 15+ people excluding the bouncers that tried breaking up the fight. You don’t need to spend money on Pay-Per-View when you can just go to a bar and see the WWE classic of “Hit em’ with the chair,” priceless and timeless.
Fights don’t always break out at bars; my point isn’t that you should go to bars to see people fight, but it’s that you never know what you’re going to get. I’ve only ever experienced big bar fights in bars at larger universities, and for the most part bars here have been fairly laid back. You’ll get the occasional disgruntled patron upset because the line is too long at Cobblestone and “THEY HAVE THREE DAMN DOORS SO WHY DON’T THEY USE THEM?!” but not much more than that.
Drinking isn’t even required when you go. In a study conducted by my marketing research class we each carried out interviews with two different people on the relationship of the beer industry with bars and clubs. I interviewed two McKendree students, Zach Manion and Grant Riggs, and found that they each don’t go to bars for the experience of drinking as that’s something they could do anywhere. Rather they go to bars for the atmosphere, experiences, and the interactions they have with people. For them drinking was just something that came along with the bar experience that they believed loosened them up when meeting new people.
A large amount of effort doesn’t necessarily need to be put into being there either. You can just sit at the bar and start a conversation with someone around you. Maybe you’ll see someone from your Tuesday/Thursday Bio 101 class that you’d never actually spoken to and get to learn more about them. Go out and have an experience with someone you wouldn’t normally have had by just staying at home.
If talking to strangers isn’t your thing, that’s okay. If you enjoy people watching, the bar is the perfect place to go. Just sit back and watch the drunkenness ensue. When it comes to a bar patron you never know what you’re going to get. They could laugh, scream, cry, climb up on a chair; the possibilities are endless. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to actively do anything. You can just sit back and be entertained by the crazy conversations you overhear and the unpredictable actions of other people.
This world is full of people with unique experiences and diverse backgrounds. We each have so many opportunities to meet new people and learn new things about the world. Whether it’s seeing a group of grown men duke it out, just casually sitting around and talking to people, or anything in between, the bar can be a great place to be entertained and experience something new. Open yourself up to new experiences, take these opportunities to experience life in a different way and create a connection between you and other people.