Doomed to play WoW for the rest of my nights??
June 17, 2011 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Am I being unreasonable or should I be looking for new friends?

I've pretty much had no social life since all my friends have turned 21. They tend to stay out until 3-4 nightly now that school is out, come back home super drunk and super loud, then be too hungover for the rest of the morning, afternoon, and early evening to be functional to do anything. Once night rolls around, they just go out again and the cycle repeats.

Is it too much of me to ask them to be a bit more courteous? I understand that out of the 6 of us, I'm the only one who isn't 21 and that I shouldn't be expected to hang out with them as much since they're enjoying the Chicago nightlife now. I'm also afraid that once I do turn 21 in January, I still won't have a social life since my friends have told me outright that they will probably be too broke, too tired of going out, or both to do anything after I'm 21. Every time I suggest we do something in the daytime and nondrinking related, they've all been telling me to get a fake ID, but seeing how I want to work for the government and apply to military officer schools next year, getting caught with a fake would dash those plans.

Am I being too impatient and/or too needy here? Should I find new friends? Where would I even go to find new friends (I'm going to be a senior in college), especially during the summer?? I can't take advantage of all the fun summer things (running on Lake Shore, pick up ultimate frisbee, SummerDance, yoga in the park, etc) in Chicago either because I recently got put into a big clunky boot for a torn tendon.
posted by astapasta24 to Human Relations (39 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are these roommates? Then yes, you're within your rights to tell them to STFU when they come home. You're not within your rights to ask them not to go out, and you can't demand that they do something that includes you. Their interests have shifted, and so you'll have to find new friends with new interests. And maybe a new place to live.

I'm also afraid that once I do turn 21 in January, I still won't have a social life since my friends have told me outright that they will probably be too broke, too tired of going out, or both to do anything after I'm 21.

This just sounds jerky.
posted by desjardins at 12:29 PM on June 17, 2011 [8 favorites]

You should find new friends. These people are not behaving the way friends behave. Also, frankly, their behavior is somewhat alarming from a binge drinking standpoint. (Also, how do they afford to do this every night without jobs?)

Being 21 is one of the final landmarks for being an adult. Your friends are not behaving the way adults behave, either. It's not a question of courtesy (although I agree they're being rude) but more a question of being able to behave in responsible way.

Ditch them. Find new friends. If you're going to be a senior in college, that seems like a fine place to start. Get a summer job (or an internship) and make friends with the people there. Go to the park (even with the boot) and meet people. Go to meetups....

I have a suspicion that these might have been your friends since High School, and I know how hard it can be to let those very intense relationships go, but it does seem like your paths have diverged somewhat. And change is hard. But you sound like you have a sensible, responsible head on your shoulders. I suspect you're a great friend to them, and you deserve people who will be great friends to you.

Good luck!
posted by anastasiav at 12:31 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Are they your roommates? If so, yeah, you can ask them not to be so loud at night. But it's not their responsibility to entertain you. If you want to make plans with your friends to do something non-drunken, then make plans. Don't expect them just to be available to entertain you whenever. If their response to any plans is really to tell you a fake ID, then, yeah, you should find new friends.

I know people who have been caught with fake IDs and it wasn't worth it. I don't recommend that path.

once I do turn 21 in January, I still won't have a social life since my friends have told me outright that they will probably be too broke, too tired of going out, or both to do anything after I'm 21.

This is ridiculous. They do not know that. I suspect they might be teasing you.
posted by grouse at 12:33 PM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was a weird 21 year old, i never had much interest in that sort of thing. Most of my friends grew out of the whole party every weekend and staying out drunk until 4 am by the time they reached 23. So i would imagine your friends will grow out of it too, that has to get old after awhile.

I'd do what desjardins suggested and find a new place to live, and maybe some new friends.
posted by ohtimorousme at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2011

You sound like a reasonable young person who has plans for their future that doesn't include partying all night.

They're being jerks to you. I wouldn't call these people friends. If my friends suggested to me that I break the law so I could have fun with them..

..they wouldn't be my friends anymore.

Does your college have clubs? Join some that interest you!
posted by royalsong at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Turning into a drunken idiot for a while after your 21st birthday is pretty common, I'm afraid. If these are otherwise good friends and this has only been going on a few weeks, I'd probably try to just cut them a bit of slack, as this is something of a phase.

That shouldn't preclude you from finding other people to hang out with in the meantime. Nor does it mean that you should put up with loutish behavior such as yelling at 3 am. If they're being idiots in your presence, you have every right to tell them so. But I wouldn't necessarily dump an otherwise worthwhile friendship over this unless it really continues. Of course, if it's not an otherwise worthwhile friendship, then yeah, just stop hanging out with them.
posted by tau_ceti at 12:39 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Those are not your friends. If they're unwilling to do anything but get blindingly drunk all night and sleep all day, they are also not particularly interesting people. I bet you could find new friends who are also interesting people.
posted by jeather at 12:41 PM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Am I being unreasonable or should I be looking for new friends?

Poor you, that does suck. Yes, you have a right to not be kept awake all night, and it's crappy of them to be treating you like this. But from a pragmatic point of view "should" is probably not your friend when you try and work this one out. Feeling like your friends should be doing something they're just not going to do will just make you crazy and angry. If you've asked them to hang out with you more and they've not done it, your options are to take it with good grace, accept your ways are parting temporarily or permanently, and find some other people to hang out with - or to take it badly, get angry, and find some other people to hang out with. The first option will probably make you feel better in the long run (well.. it would me, YMMV).

As to where you find new people to hang out with - where did you used to go before your friends turned 21? is the standard reply to questions like this and there will be plenty that don't involve activity or alcohol - movies, picnics, knitting, languages... even if they're things you're not mad keen on they'll help you meet some new people if you give them a bit of time.

On preview: Also, what tau_ceti said - going crazy when you discover beer is v. common and this may not last forever.

Am suddenly very glad I grew up in the UK where you can drink from 18, most people start before that, and no one gets ID'd in pubs unless they look positively pre-pubescent.
posted by penguin pie at 12:43 PM on June 17, 2011

Kudos to you for not succumbing to peer pressure. My vote is for finding a group a little less into alcohol; they SAY they'll be bored with it by the time you're 21, but it generally doesn't pan out quite like that. If you're still with that group when you turn 21, you'll find yourself under tremendous pressure to re-shape your life around alcohol to suit their new style. In the meantime, the fact that your friends won't "wait up" for's not good. You're right to feel dissed & ditched.
posted by Ys at 12:44 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't think you're being too impatient or needy. I think your friends are being selfish and immature. It almost sounds like they're passive-aggressively trying to push you out of their lives. They'll only hang out with you if you break the law and put your future dreams in jeopardy? They're not excitedly anticipating being able to share partying with you, but instead pessimistically predicting that it won't be any fun? Ouch. Do go out and find other people who aren't as self-absorbed and unimaginative. Their behavior might be temporary; it might not. In the meantime, you live in a big city full of neat people. Go find them.

I hear ya on not being able to do fun active summer things, but if you live in Chicago--there is plenty to do that is easy on your foot that isn't WoW. Museums, music festivals, volunteering, lying on the beach soaking up the sun...the list is endless. Ask the Chicago mefites here; I bet they can come up with a ton of stuff for you to do.
posted by millions of peaches at 12:49 PM on June 17, 2011

You've grown up and they haven't. You should totally ditch them before they drag you into their gutter. Best of luck!
posted by Renoroc at 12:49 PM on June 17, 2011

Best answer: These are not your friends. They are just people that you know, or maybe people who USED TO BE your friends. Friends don't ignore their friends and exclude them from fun. You sound like you have your life planned out for the next few years. Pretty soon, all of that will take off and you'll be flying high, not even thinking about those you left behind.

Tip for life: always be trying to make new friends. You never know when the old ones will bail on you. Keep the ones you have, make more. To make more friends, go where you equals are. Equals means people you can meet who aren't obligated to be nice to you. Your doctor, your barista, your taxi driver; these people are not friend material. People you meet at school/pottery class/college are the kind of people you want to meet and be nice to.

I have no idea what there is in Chicago, but there must be some kind of group activity thing going on. Maybe hit up the library and see what is available?
posted by Solomon at 12:50 PM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]

Well, let's face the facts: going out drinking is fun. That said, there are plenty of things to do that don't require one to be over-21 when going out on a given night, and your friends aren't interested in doing anything like that. there are plenty of people out there that maintain social lives that allow for doing stuff during the day or allowing a mix of under- and over-21s in your group.

Find some new friends who enjoy your company and are willing to do stuff that includes you-- because your friends are the people who want you around, right? How are these people your friends?
posted by deanc at 12:52 PM on June 17, 2011

...I do turn 21 in January...

Am I being too impatient and/or too needy here?

Yeah, I think you probably are.
posted by General Tonic at 12:58 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To clarify, one is a roommate. The others sometime come back to my apartment with her since we've all known each other since orientation week of college. Ironically enough, we all became friends from partying and looking out for each other that first week. It's definitely not the first time they've had copious amounts of alcohol.
posted by astapasta24 at 12:58 PM on June 17, 2011

Once your question is boiled down, the answer to it is "hang out with people that you're happy hanging out with."
posted by craven_morhead at 1:01 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

They're acting like dickbags, and I'd get some new friends for now, but I also remember that friends can act like dickbags every now and then and that you can still be friends with them.

Just point out that they sound like a bunch of Rush Street douchebags (and don't tell them you asked about this on the internet).
posted by klangklangston at 1:05 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

When you turn 21 and start going to bars, you will find about 100 new friends, don't sweat it.
posted by empath at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am completely boggled at the idea of drunk 21-year-olds telling you that once YOU turn 21, they won't want to have drunken binges any more. SERIOUSLY?!?! They will be utterly sick of drinking and partying at ... 22? In seven months?

I smell bullshit on that one. Especially if you are all around the same age of impending college seniors, as it sounds like. If they were all working hardcore full time day jobs next year I'd understand perhaps (actually, that sounds like a bloody miracle these days), but... come on. I honestly think they...just might not like you that much any more if they are telling you shit like this. Not to mention the law breaking, that's classy.

As for actual advice, I have nothing better to offer than joining college clubs, but if you live in a big city, you probably have more options anyway.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:28 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wait a minute, you've been partying with these people since you were freshman in college... I assume that involved various illicit trips to the liquor store and drinking and watching movies at home. Do they not do that any more? Yes, being out at a bar drinking in public is fun, and it's a novelty, but good lord does that get expensive fast... why do they all of a sudden have enough money to go out all the time? If this hasn't been going on for more than a month or so (i.e. since classes let out) they're going to run out of money before long.
Are they only ever going to places that card at the door (21+ clubs), or are they going to regular bars that you could go have a burger and a coke and drink your soda and hear the band and hang out? Do they adamently refuse to go to any 18+ clubs any more? Have you specifically asked them to plan a night together? Have you specifically asked them their plans, and checked whether you could go along to those venues? (yes, you'd have the dorky red x drawn on the back of your hand, or no bracelet or whatever the policy is, does that make them too cool to hang out with you??)
posted by aimedwander at 1:43 PM on June 17, 2011

I still won't have a social life since my friends have told me outright that they will probably be too broke, too tired of going out, or both to do anything after I'm 21

This makes no sense. I cannot imagine a situation where anyone would say that. They are effectively saying: I have enough money to party for the next seven months, then I will never be able to afford to go out again. Plus, it will be fun until that time, then it won't. i am not thinking of slowing down, I plan to run full-steam until January.

People do not work like that.
posted by rtimmel at 1:54 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As someone who is younger than all of my friends, I can tell you that this is definitely a case of your friends just being huge jerks. While it may not be reasonable to ask them to not go out at all, if they consider themselves your friends they should make an effort to hang out with you (in daylight, without a fake ID). The fact that they are telling you they won't hang out/party with you when you do turn 21 is either a sign of extreme douchey-ness or some serious manipulation (trying to guilt you into getting a fake?). Either way, ditch them.

As for finding new friends, it's not too late to get a summer job - work is a great way to meet new/a variety of people. You can also check out things like to find activities you enjoy that don't require physical activity. You could take cooking classes, join a book club, maybe there's some kind of meetups for WoW players? Whatever floats your boat.
posted by jouir at 1:59 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was all set to say, "Yup, welcome to being the last twenty-year-old in your group" until I got to this part:

I'm also afraid that once I do turn 21 in January, I still won't have a social life since my friends have told me outright that they will probably be too broke, too tired of going out, or both to do anything after I'm 21.

That's a bafflingly shitty thing to say to someone. I've never heard of a friend saying that to another who was waiting to turn 21 - usually, it's more of a "when you turn, oh the times we will have" kinda thing. I would personally start casting about for a change of crowd and location. These people are not treating you well. (Also, germane to your title: uninstall WoW - I'm generally for gaming, but there is nothing better you can do for your social life than getting rid of that life-draining timesink and going outside a little more)

(Also, not for nuthin, twelve years later, I'm still friends with but two of the people I hung out with when I was twenty. This time in your life is not nearly the end of the world, but the beginning)

Good luck!
posted by EatTheWeek at 2:12 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

I was one of the last of my friends to turn 18 (drinking age in Canada) and went through a bit of the same thing.

Honestly the whole "we won't want to party in 7 months" thing sounds like them just messing with you. They might get tired of the kind of bars that typical just-got-legal kids go to, but honestly those places suck anyways and you figure that out fairly quick. They will still want to say, go to pubs, other kinds of clubs, house parties (that are way more legal now, yay!), etc. at the very least.
posted by utsutsu at 2:18 PM on June 17, 2011

Are you sure you can't do Yoga at the park? Any instructor should be able to work with your limitations.

Nthing digging into the clubs at your school and seeing what's going on over the summer. You can still do concerts and movies and book clubs. Try art classes, photography...are there places for handgun practice or trap shooting? Those are fun and will come in handy when you apply for officer school.

Don't be afraid to initiate things with people besides these 5 jerks. People who are acquaintances and classmates now may be your good friends in the future....or even just friends of convenience for now. Hell, you didn't say if you were in a relationship...go speed dating, try There's lots of things you can do that don't involve people who aren't willing to compromise and be an adult.
posted by Caravantea at 2:31 PM on June 17, 2011

I agree with EatTheWeak and several others upthread -- the line about not being likely to want to go drinking with you when you turn 21 is either A) a mean joke, or B) a strange, veiled way to tell you they don't want to hang out with you, period. Either call them on it, or take the hint and give them the heave-ho before they get a chance to do it to you.

Beyond that, sounds like typical 21-year-old "overindulging in this thing we were already doing but now it's legal" behavior. Tell them to quit with the loud late night barge-ins and that's about all you can do with that. Meanwhile, get out of the apartment and meet some people whose life doesn't revolve around booze.
posted by me3dia at 2:31 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I turned 21 "late" too, and I remember being left at home because everyone was going to a bar. It wasn't so much that i wanted to get drunk, it was that I wanted to go out and do something fun.

In hindsight, I wish I had realized there is more to the world than just bars, and I wish I had been less afraid to do things on my own. Are there 18+/all ages shows you can go to, if you're into music? My approach now is to go to things I want to go to- if friends want to to come, great- if they don't, I go by myself. I don't like to let other people control what I do and don't do.

That said, i should be honest and say the way i solved this problem at age 20 was getting a fake ID. Not advocating you break the law, but you know, the possibility exists.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:33 PM on June 17, 2011

Sorry, missed the part about not wanting a fake id. Please disregard.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:34 PM on June 17, 2011

Are they all rich? My experience of the 21 crowd is that bars are a new awesome thing and it's fun to do that, but plenty if not the majority of partying is still done at home with cheaper liquor, better music and more friends (such as you). Weird! And yeah, that "we won't go to bars anymore when you're 21" is either them just fucking with you, or an awful passive-agressive way of saying they don't really like you.

(It's news to me that getting caught with a fake ID means it's reported to cops, placed on your academic/military record, etc. Doesn't it just get shredded and you have to go home?)
posted by naju at 2:53 PM on June 17, 2011

(Please ignore that last part, I don't know what I'm talking about)
posted by naju at 2:58 PM on June 17, 2011

Your friends are jerks, and they don't like you. Get new ones who do and de-friend those fuckers. Or, double down on the partying and join em—they likely don't like you because they view you as a prude. Your choice.
posted by Exonym at 3:13 PM on June 17, 2011 friends have told me outright that they will probably be too broke, too tired of going out, or both to do anything after I'm 21.

It really doesn't matter who is right and who is wrong, all parties are obviously out of accord. I'd find a social group you identify with right now. And for the record, having fun with people you like is not something you get tired of.
posted by Foam Pants at 3:52 PM on June 17, 2011

Curious as to why you were able to go out with them freshman year and are unable to go out with them now (yes I read the part about the fake ids). Did you all go to house parties or 18+ clubs in freshman year?

They don't sound like very good friends if they are NEVER willing to go out with you in the daytime and at least try non-drinking activities. But I'll be the lone voice of dissent on this particular issue: getting tired of drinking. Before I turned 21, I was a lot more excited about drinking. The novelty has kind of worn off and I've been there, done that although I do still enjoy going out occassionally. So its quite possible that your friends might get tired of drinking after binging every night for months.

So while they may indeed be tired of drinking by then, its really uncool for them to not even be willing to drag themselves out every once in a while once you turn 21. Real friends do not constantly leave one of their good friends home alone every single night and refuse to hang out with them until the friend compromises their values. So no, you're not being impatient or needy.

Also, I don't get why people are suggesting joining clubs at school when school is pretty much out for the summer. At my college (and I know of others), school clubs do not meet during the summer. There's a more limited selection of classes during the summer session and common areas/dining services aren't open (ie: cafeteria).
posted by lovelygirl at 3:52 PM on June 17, 2011

I don't have issues with people who like to go out drinking all the time and frankly if you were 21, I'm sure you'd be having a blast with them - it's not like you'd have to do it every night like they are. But this is what really pissed me off:

I'm also afraid that once I do turn 21 in January, I still won't have a social life since my friends have told me outright that they will probably be too broke, too tired of going out, or both to do anything after I'm 21.

Ummm, what? This sounds to me like your friends are actively trying to blow you off HALF A YEAR in advance. Who does this?! Sorry to be blunt, but I'd reevaluate how much you think these people actually like you if they're seriously telling you "sorry but January 2012 isn't looking too good for me".
posted by windbox at 4:31 PM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]

More friends. It seems a bit odd that all your friends are of a single age. The 'six of us' click is something you will grow out of as you get older, so you might as well start now. I am 47, and I have friends from 12 to 81, and can go do stuff with any of them. This is a chance to broaden your horizons.

(btw, they are still your friends, they are just, for good or bad, focused elsewhere right now. Don't take it personally.)
posted by Vaike at 4:49 PM on June 17, 2011

Best answer: I have to admit, I'm wondering if it is possible that you have been the "tagalong" friend? As in, they think your roommate is neato-keen, but are just kind of "meh" about you? Because it really does sound to me like a deliberate effort to freeze you out. And that's inconsistent with the picture of all of you being in tight together. I mean, it seems like if they seriously wanted you there, they'd either invite you to things you could attend, make time in the day for you, and show some enthusiasm for the your upcoming coming-of-age birthday. By your report, they're not doing any of this, instead they're making lame, transparent excuses for not including you.

I think the key here might be that you're tied into this group as a package deal with your roommate. Now suddenly there's this artificial divide between you and your roommate, and it seems like people are taking advantage of it to push you out of the group.

Go find something else to do for a while. Pushing back will just mess with your head. Maybe while you're doing other things you will find people you like with passtimes that don't leave you sitting at home feeling sad.
posted by Ys at 7:54 PM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Also, I don't get why people are suggesting joining clubs at school when school is pretty much out for the summer.

That's more for the fall than anything else. I haven't the faintest idea where to find people in the summer because I can't even get ahold of mine most of the time in summer :P But again, he's in a city. S/he probably has better odds wandering the streets and going to random events than most people do just from being in Chicago.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:05 PM on June 17, 2011

Also, if it makes you feel any better, the "Suddenly realising you actually don't get along with the people you met in the first week of college" thing is very, very common and absolutely no reflection on you personally. Everyone arrives at college in a frenzy of "omg I'm so excited, no parents, I can do what I want" mixed with "omg I'm so alone I must NOT be the only person without friends" and forms friendships which, in the cold light of day (be that a week later or a year later) turn out to have been forged out of convenience and the shared experience of starting college, rather than actually having anything in common.

This kind of thing will carry on throughout your life as you and your friends change in different ways, but probably in less hurtful ways - more of a gradual fadeout than this sudden burnout. So Solomon's right about always making new friends.
posted by penguin pie at 5:41 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

This happened to me. I was the youngest of my friends, and while my over-21 friends were more accomodating than yours, I still had to learn to be independent on the nights when they went to bars and the days they had hangovers. I grabbed a three-day-a-week summer job at a school office sometime in mid-June and took a painting class (despite my absolute, embarrassing lack of talent and because I wanted something kind of sedentary and air-conditioned) at an art school in July, and soon I had more new friends than I'd ever needed, just from those two activities. I probably seemed a lot less needy to my over-21 friends, too, because even though they were sympathetic, I'm sure they were also a little annoyed with me for a while.
posted by pineappleheart at 1:31 PM on June 19, 2011

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