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10th October 2011

The extravagance of staying in

Going out is so uncouth

Tight shirts and short skirts flock to the cash points and then onwards to the bars of Fallowfield. Another big night. Once again – not to be missed. And of course, every one is coming out. Well, everyone apart from the stay-inner.

Down a quiet suburban road, in a room unstained by fake tan and lip gloss lies the creature that does not go out, but curiously stays in. Not the staying in that follows the statement “I’m going to take tonight off”, where the participant is found spread out like a Jabba the Hutt on the sofa in its comfiest slippers, using a slice of Domino’s to spoon Ben and Jerry’s down its gullet and squealing with delight as it watches mean girls for the billionth time. I’m talking about staying in as in sitting at your desk and doing something incredibly foreign to most students – getting shit done.

The stay-inner will be sat at their desks knowing that if they start taking care of this studying business earlier than later, then they can ensure that they will be familiar with the texts, have a good grasp of the key concepts and be prepared to ask any questions they have on some of the more advanced topics. Resisting the temptation of having a pint with your humorous, yet delinquent, friends to ensure that you have read a chapter of a book written by a revered, yet dull as a pack of ready salted crisps, old git is not an easy path to take.

“Woah, woah, woah! Staying in? What about my social life? What about the 90p red bull flavoured afterbirth I could be drinking? What about the bog bowl that won’t be wiped clean with my face? What about the pictures of me staring unconsciously into the hollow lens of a camera that won’t be smeared over my online profile? What about the kebab that won’t be fired out of my arse?”

I’m afraid by staying in you will have none of those amazing things. You will just have to be satisfied with expanding your knowledge of the world, deepening your understanding of the universe and learning what will one day enable you to use your creative powers to help further push the human race to the stars.

The point of the first world and moreover civilization is so that society offers services for us for the things that that we don’t want to do; like take care of the goldfish we flush down the toilet (and the other non-goldfish objects we flush down there). We have a layer of abstraction that gives us the time to be able to do productive, intelligent activities that flex us as owners high-functioning cranial matter.

However, the same freedom to spend our time as we please also allows us to indulge in what is essentially primal functionality – going out of the house to a club (leaving the cave and heading to the communal fire pit), socialising with friends (sniffing the rectal regions of same species companions), dancing to a temporally consistent noise (performing the some precoital rutting) and then trying to secure someone to share an awkward feeling with the next morning (ensuring the continuation of your genetic makeup).

All of which seems rather silly and pointless to the stay-inner, so they buy a tweed jacket, sew on some leather elbow patches and start pursuing the life of an intellectual.

But their agoraphobic crusade comes at a most damning of costs. In the brave struggle to become educated, they will no doubt end up completely alienated from everyone know and more worryingly far less aware of the current state of the kebab in the Greater Manchester area. You can’t tell someone a “legendary story” of how last night you stayed in and found some great material for that literature review due in two weeks time

Years later at their desk job working for Mega Corp Inc. whilst escaping the tyranny of the other half and the disappointment that are their offspring, they will wonder whether it was worth taking the hard road of working at university. Whether they should have enjoyed the prime of your life, deposited their body fluids around town and done anything but their degree. Then as they begin to drift off on their leather office chair, day-dreaming about that cute undergrad they almost had a thing with and all that could have been; the years of caffeine abuse from overworking on coffee catch up with them and their heart is thrown into a violent thumping. The sporadic jolts strain their pulmonary artery and in one final bulge their heart explodes. All they leave behind is a suited corpse of a nothing being – maybe they should have tried a better balance of both work and play.

Lloyd Henning

Lloyd Henning

Lloyd Henning is columnist and web editor for The Mancunion. He was once an olive connoisseur, he now works towards one day creating the real Jurassic Park. You can follow him on twitter @lloydhenning

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