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Stay In Or Go Out?: Stuggling in your 20s

It's Friday. You got off of work and wow has it been a week. It was the end of the quarter so you had a lot deadlines to make and somehow...something always came up to make each one a challenge. It's OK though because your coworkers and you trust in one another to at least get the job done.

Time to celebrate! It's Vegas Weekend, a seasonal party or bbq, or it's someone's birthday, promotion, quitting, or reunion celebration. Regardless of what is, imagine that some friends texted you about meeting up at a bar for happy hour after work and you are still on the fence about it. There are several factors that are floating around your shoulders like the little angel clone of yourself and the devil. Some things that people are thinking about when deciding to go out these days are finances, time, health, and the experience.

If you live in a metropolis like Los Angeles, Detroit, New York, or any highly inhabited city, traffic is a nightmare. Driving to get cocktails means sitting through traffic, finding parking, paying for it, meeting up with friends, but not drinking too much so that you can sober up in a few hours and then driving back home. Or you can grab an Uber or a Lyft so that you can drink as much as you want, but then that's going to set you back twenty to fifty bucks for the trip back and forth. There are also extra charges for peak hours or other fees. I'm not knocking the companies; one just has to factor all of these variables when they want to have a fun and responsible night. The new downtown railway is a welcomed addition to this problem. Anyway, Cocktails and tapas sound like fun. You think back to your days in college and you remember how far a budget of $30 a month for food would take you. A few dollars meant life and death back then. We are all at different points in our lives. Some of us are in graduate school and still face the same financial problems as before, with hopes of graduating to earn more money later. Some of us never went to college, but we got involved with trade school or an internship in a specialized program and we are set. Others have a salary job after graduation and are throwing a lot of money for transportation, bar food, and drinks. Regardless of where you may be, times have either changed or remained the same regarding the pay scales. Apart from the finances that may or may not be on your mind, you might be thinking of other factors like what's easier or healthier.

You could go out, or you could stay in and cook something that's easy and tasty. There are tons of easy to follow recipes online. YouTube provides many of them that you can cook in less than thirty minutes save for chopping up vegetables and getting bowls ready. As for entertainment, we have Netflix, HBO Go, HBO Now, Hulu, Etc. There are tons of streaming sites that we can use for a cheap cost and have an awesome TV dinner. As far as the burden, the cost would be lower; it would just eat up time for cooking, eating, and washing dishes (which can arguably be the biggest issue as it for me).

As far as health concerns are, going out means ordering those cheese fries, nachos, fried chicken, pizza, or any other delicious and savory unhealthy morsels. Once in a while its fine, but we aren't freshmen anymore. We can't eat eight plates from the dining hall in one sitting. Eating like this is starting to cause us to sweat more, spend more time in the restroom, have more gas, and cause us to feel tired and less happy overall. I used to eat burgers and pizzas every day when I came to South Korea and I noticed myself have a huge drop in my ability to walk very far or do strenuous activities like hiking or skateboarding. I found that it's also cheaper buying the ingredients and making these dishes at home.

For example buying avocado toast is kind of pricey, but making it on your own is cheap and it tastes the same. Yes I have beer for brunch. I try to pair it with what I am eating. On the right is a blueberry stout that I had for brunch. To me it tastes like a blueberry muffin. We can eat unhealthy food once in a while and I try to do so on the weekends, but our bodies aren't what they used to be. We are becoming like our parents.

Money hasn't been too much of an issue, at least not as grave as it was back then. So what's holding you back? No matter what you decide, go on and have some fun. Cook a great meal and share it with a significant other or friends. Watch some cheesy movie on Netflix and feel the power of pausing it while you go to the restroom, wash your hands, or clean up a spill. Eat some tacos after getting drinks at the bar. Make bad food decisions every now and then, but be responsible in your plans for getting home if you choose to go out. We have the power now to choose to go out or stay in. We can still have a good time, but we like to lazily weigh the options. My advice would be to make plans to stay in on weeknights and make some plans to go out on a Friday or Saturday. That way Sunday is a nice recharge day to recover from that hangover or get mentally prepared for Monday. I can't remember who said it, but one of my friends said something along the lines of "...drinking is borrowed happiness from the next day." After drinking extensively on certain nights, I have found this to be true. Either way, good food, friends, and alcohol mix together quite nice, whether it's inside or out.



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