Let’s Go Out
Students love to go out. It opens doors to socialization and enjoying party time with others, temporarily escaping from one’s daily reality and spending a fair amount of money on alcohol. For lots of people that sounds like unlimited fun. I, for one, experience the hassle that comes with entering clubs. From taking off my earrings until being obliged to buy new shoes that suit the regulations. As long as outgoing communities do not have to profile themselves as extremely wealthy business(wo)men, but rather the ‘let’s go for a beer’ squad, I highly doubt the value of such criteria.

Hold It Right There
After a long week in college, there is nothing better than going out. Even if it is just to escape the hard knock life of never-ending assignments, readings and essays. A break from it all. It is healthy, according to Virtuagym, for relieving stress. So drag one along in a whipping rhythm, get ready to spend dollars on funky drinks and make sure to hook up with the slick people on the dancefloor. At least, with that thought is how it starts.

Slide into the visuals with me. You are catwalking on the partially lit tiles that lead to what seems to be a night paradise. Catchy club tracks bonk in your ears, which triggers to jump right on the flow of the descriptive lyrics. Random people put effort in walking straight. A smoky aroma fills the air. Slowly but steadily you reach the entrance of a popping place. As ready as you are, you try to pave your way inside. But there is this big, rigid bouncer who thinks differently.

“Hold it right there,” the bouncer says. Not necessarily the phrase one likes to hear in these occasions. He puts an inspective eye on you as a whole. Looking from top to bottom in the most crucial seconds for what could make or break the evening. Obviously, passing your late night exam of club acceptance will be pretty hard by now. “These shoes.” Okay, there is the point of no return. Carefully you reply: “Yes, what about it?” – “I cannot let you in when you are wearing these.” “Why not?” – “I am not here to discuss such matters, sir/madam, so could you please not uphold the queue?”

This is what grasps my attention every time. Situations like these strike the people who were not privileged by knowing a guy who knows another guy who knows the off-duty club manager. The infamous guest list concept. No. This applies to the honest students who simply attempt to enjoy the 21+ age with some good vibes. Back when I was a 16-year-old European, I was allowed to buy alcohol, and I could go out on my 18th. Nevertheless, I have encountered various noteworthy obstructions in accessing clubs.

Wearing a totally fine outfit among with shoes that were just not black. It can be enough. It happened to me in Tucson. The bouncer explained my shoes were ‘too sporty’, and he proposed how I could go around the corner and buy some flip flops. My mind said: “You must be a comedian, where would I stash the pair I am wearing right now?” For that moment, and many others, I was forced to take a U-turn away from the entrance. I have also been denied because I cuffed my pants. A hat has also killed vibes on the regular, but one of the more surprising ones was when I was required to take out my earrings. Since I was genuinely interested in clarification, I was told that it made me look provocative. I was granted access, but I should “not even think about putting them back in.” I remember it as if it was yesterday.

According to BBC, the United Kingdom enhances the vague bubble by stating that one should at least rely on equal rights, that is, not being treated differently because of skin color. One can, however, be refused due to dress code, oversaturated alcohol consumption or moving in a large and therefore risky group. It personally saddens me, though, that it is still such a hassle in 2018. I mean, why is it fairly simple to retrieve a gun as a 21-year-old, whilst it takes deep effort to enter a club to enjoy a beer? Really, dear bouncer, what difference does it really make how a person looks like? What difference does it make to have a perfectly retouched high-class make-up appearance, opposing to a neutral and casual look? Does one really need to wear shiny shoes, a three-piece suit and complementing jewelry to establish a sufficient nightlife look? Is this what is needed for grabbing a drink with a couple of friends? Give me a break, bouncer.