A Guide to Going Out In Your 30’s

A Guide to Going Out In Your 30’s

Maybe you had a life changing event, or maybe you are just feeling like it’s time to get out and be more social. Either way, if you’re the kind of person like me that stayed pretty quiet for their mid to late 20’s and are now hitting the town again, you should be prepared. While the basics are still the same, there are some minor yet important changes you are going to need to adhere to these days.

The blunt, sad news? Time has not been kind to you in terms of dealing with lack of sleep and the spoils of excess. Learn from my mistakes in the highly scientific guide below.

Simple Steps to Take to Survive Late Nights In Your 30’s

Dress nicer to work. If you’re already wearing something cute, this makes an impromptu happy hour a solid possibility. Even if you have plans, getting ready in the morning will allow you a power nap before you head out on a Thursday evening.

Repeat after me – “I’m an adult. I don’t have to be in bed by a certain time on a school night.”

That being said, try to get 8 hours of sleep at least every other day.

Water is your friend. Drink it always. Drink it before you go out. Drink it while you go out. Drink it after you go out. Diet coke is not water. Vodka is not water, even though it is clear. Water is water.

Your phone can be a great tool. It gives you something to do when you’re left to hold down the table while your friends are in the bathroom. It gives you something to look at when you don’t want to make eye contact with that slightly creepy person peering in your direction. Remember though, you’re out with your friends and not your phone. You won’t wake up in the morning and think “Man, I really wish I checked instagram instead of listening to what X-person had to say last night.”

Do not be lured in by cheap drinks. If wine or liquor costs less than $5, don’t put it in your mouth. Enjoy the $12 cocktails… you will thank me the next morning. Just because you’re out at bars again, doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to $1 mystery beer night and well tequila like you did when you were working at the Dry Cleaner’s.


Especially get the fancy cocktails with candied ginger on them.

The good thing about being in your 30’s and having 10 years experience with alcohol versus two, is that you should know your limits now. Listen to them!

Don’t neglect that bit about the water.

Twenty somethings fresh out of college might be perkier and more carefree, but you have way more years of traveling, meeting cool folks and learning interesting stuff than they do. Use it. Don’t be afraid to drop buzz phrases like “video game industry” and “traveling through Eastern Europe.” All is fair in the social scene.

Conversation is your friend. Don’t be afraid to talk to a stranger, because you might meet someone who has an interesting story or someone else who has peed on Nicholas Spark’s landscaped yard.

Never pass up an opportunity to insult Nicholas Sparks.

Make sure you always have at least one friend with you that you would trust to come help you on the side of the road.

But seriously – remember that part about the water?


So tell me, what would you add to this list? After all, I am a work in progress!

35 thoughts on “A Guide to Going Out In Your 30’s

  1. Remember when you were all “I don’t know what my writing voice/direction would/could/should/might be”?

    It should be this. Especially insulting Nicholas Sparks. Because, fuck that guy and his insipid words.

    Also water. Don’t forget that.

    1. i was struck by the voice in this too. Wow this woman has such a great voice. What a great writer. And I’m totally on the hate on NS wagon. Never read it, never watched, have no interest in emotional trigger stuff like that. I mean they all just die right?

      1. How can you hate something you haven’t read or watched? Not defending NS per se but it doesn’t seem fair to judge without any knowledge. Myself, I loved him for The Notebook (as a researcher, I am deprived of anything not evidence-based and am always immersed in empiricism, so I get a bit soft with emotional stuff). After reading 2 of his other novels, I was done with it so completely. You couldn’t be more formulaic if you tried!

    2. Yes! Yes to all of this. Especially the voice. And the water.

      My big single-again-in-my-30s revelation has been this: never apologize for liking what you like. Whether it’s the cocktails or company (or those nights when you’d rather snuggle at home on the couch with the dog), opinions > obligation every time.

      I should take your advice about the water.

    3. I HATE THAT GUY. Because I am a “horse person”, I was of course given like 37 copies of that stupid book and I finally caved and read it.

      NO NO NO better to skip water and go out than to do that.

      Dumbest. Thing. Ever.

    4. Nicholas Sparks is a homophobic piece of shit.

      YOU, on the other hand, are fabulous. I’d take all of this advice if I ever went out. Which I don’t. Because I have a yellow dog who isn’t gonna snuggle with herself.

  2. Water. Yes. And also yes to the top shelf sipping cocktails because they taste better and you won’t be slamming them. I’d add plan for a safe way home and leave the bar with the people you came with, not someone you just met.

  3. Live in a cool city that has bars! Or at least have friends that live in a cool city that has bars and hopefully can crash at their place because a 45 minute drive home and no Uber sucks. Though so does crashing at someone’s home (especially on a couch) and because you need to let your dogs out- ok so live in a cool city that has bars!

  4. Find the type of place that fits you, and don’t be tempted to go to the coolest hot spot or that place everyone goes if it’s not your thing. The older I get, the more I know what I like and don’t like and don’t feel the need to waste time doing something I don’t like. (This is not to say don’t try new things though!)

  5. Like everyone else, I love this sassy voice, and I hate Nicholas Sparks. I think a “How To Be An Independent 30-Something Modern Woman” blog is DEFINITELY one I would love to read. Plus the occasional pony. Sounds pretty perfect.

  6. It’s really fun to sound super cool ordering a margarita with 1800 anjeo. The no headache the next morning is even more fun.

    Being from New Orleans also means I know to stay away from Hand Grenades.

      1. Yes they are! And no one wants to listen to the local when they say don’t drink the hand grenade haha I try to stay away from hurricanes too but those are really good and the hangover isn’t too bad if you’ve only had 1 lol

  7. Man, early 20s were great. Go out after work, drink 5 drinks, be drunk and yet get up at 9 am the next day, have some pizza rolls and good to go!!! NOW in my mid-30s, I better limi my drinks to 2 or 3 or else. Also, some B12 and magnesium help keep the queasy hangovers away the next day!

  8. Man, I totally feel everything so much more the next day now that I’m mid-thirties (OMG, I have to start calling myself LATE thirties next year….)

    Oh, and EAT SOMETHING before you go out. And while you drink. Cause your liver don’t play like that anymore.

    And wait… you peed on NS’s lawn?? Need to hear about this.

  9. Do not try attempt to relive your collegiate drinking days, when you were capable of consuming at least half a dozen Jack & Cokes before midnight.

    Do not trying to “pre game” at home, because you will fall asleep while being driven to the bar.

    Do not let your friend hold you hostage somewhere for 4 hours on a Tuesday night because she wants to talk about how her life would have turned out differently if she’d married her ex instead of breeding dogs.

    Drink more water!

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