Nightlife is something I am not good at. I’m 19 years old going on 20 and believe it or not, I have never been out partying.

If you ask how I would define nightlife I would say: You dress up to get everyone´s jaws to drop, you get a bunch of friends with you. Then you go into a bar or a restaurant where there’s loud music and lots and lots of people. You make yourself look ridiculous when you dance to the beat of the music. And at the end of the night you are wasted. Did I make it sound right?

What do you gain when you spend the nightlife in the way I just defined it? You definitely do not get time with your friends because you can´t chit chat in the loudness. And you are close to getting deaf because there are more decibels than your ears can take. And can you make new friends in the bustle of nightlife? I don´t know, because creating new friendships even in broad daylight is difficult for me.

If I would somehow find myself in the heart of nightlife, I would be the wallflower. Bloody gorgeous one, but still. I don´t enjoy crowds or the loud sounds of music and other people. I would not enjoy making myself look ridiculous on purpose. I don´t understand why it should be an inherent part of young people’s lives. Because the way I see it, nightlife can easily get out of hand, it teaches you bad habits and you don´t get anything good out of it. It is just a waste of time.

I live in a small village called Rytky and it is about 25 kilometers away from the town where all the places to spend the nightlife are. It is quite hard to go there if you don´t have your own car, and bus services are lousy. I don’t know how many youth go there regularly. I haven’t had any conversation about where do they even go when they want to spend the night out. I’m guessing it is a bar and a restaurant combination, but I’m not sure.

There are few community centers here and it would be a great idea to have some game nights or movie nights for youth without anything stronger than Red Bull. But I guess my village lacks the finances to do so.

I am sure everyone´s wondering now where and how I spend my evenings and nights. In my case it means just relaxing and doing things I enjoy. I would wrap myself in a warm blanket, take a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. I would go for a long walk in the forest with my dog. Or I would watch The Walking Dead in marathon. That’s my way to spend “nightlife”.

Text and photo by: Pauliina Ropponen, 19 years, Rytky,Kuopio,Finland