1. Overheard Conversations
College Bar: At college bars there’s a lot of talk about exams, that brutally early 9 a.m. class, and who Jessica slept with at that party last weekend.
Non-College Bar: The conversations overheard at a non-college bar can vary. You’re definitely more likely to see someone on a date, featuring stimulating conversation topics such as “Where did you grow up?” “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” and “Did you hear about Justin Bieber doing rich teenager things?” Other conversations will revolve around people’s complaints about their jobs and co-workers like “Relatable Jerry.” Relatable Jerry always joins in conversations way too late, and tries way too hard to relate to whatever you were talking about, often interjecting with, “Oh I know how that goes,” and “You could say that again.”
2. The Interior of the Bar
College: What are the colors of the university? That’s the dominant color of the inside of your college bar.
Non-College Bars: The possibilities are pretty endless here. They will definitely have alcohol, and people who serve you alcohol.
3. The Drink Specials
College Bars: Drink specials at college bars feature crazy cheap drinks, and if the bar is open, they’ve probably got drink specials. Some of the drink specials featured in the bars where I went to college included “Tequila Tuesday” which featured one dollar tequila shots and lasted all night. Not to be outdone, every Wednesday was “Drown Night” from 9 p.m. to close where you paid ten dollars at the door and then drank as much as you couldn’t handle.
Non-College Bars: Non-college bars rarely feature very many solid drink specials, and if they do it’s usually only $1 off tap beers from 4pm to 6pm Monday-Friday. Boring. The only people you’ll have the time to meet at that time are your co-workers, and you know Relatable Jerry is going to try and tag along, and no one wants to relate to Jerry.
4. The Bartenders
College Bars: Most of the bartenders in college bars are college students, and if you play your cards right they’re your friends. You can order a rum and Coke mentioning to go heavy on the rum, and you’ll be able to get a full cup of rum with a splash of Coke. It might not be the most quality tasting drink, but when you’re in college, it’s always quantity over quality.
Non-College Bars: Bartenders at non-college bars usually have a pretty good knowledge of drink concoctions, and your mixed drinks at a non-college bar will taste a lot more like Coke and a lot less like rum, and they’ll also cost twice as much. If you get lucky though, you’ll get a wise bartender who will share a story about the meaning of life with you.
5. The Patrons
College Bars: Your typical patrons at college bars are a lot drunker and a lot louder than patrons at non-college bars. There are also a lot more guys with backwards hats, and a lot more girls with fewer inhibitions.
Non-College Bars: It depends on the bar, but most likely the people will be like you. Also, the population of the city will often directly correlate with how many teeth the people ordering drinks have—the less people, the less need for teeth.
6. The Bathrooms
College Bars: College bathrooms often feature an explosion of different colored puke in the toilets, urinals, and sinks. Most people in college have been drinking for a few years, but still tend to get carried away, and with $1 tequila shots who can blame them?
Non-College Bars: Most bars not located in a college atmosphere will have bathrooms that look pretty decent for the most part. Some of them may even feature an attendant that gives you towels and a shot of cologne. Bathroom attendants would be a nice addition to college bars, because they could give breath mints to pukers after they finished yacking in all three plumbing systems.
7. The People Celebrating Life Events
College Bars: 21st birthdays are a common occurrence at college bars, because a lot of people are going to college when they cross over to the other side. There should be a reality show focusing only on people turning 21, because there is no better entertainment than seeing someone go from super excited to super drunk in less than an hour.
Non-College Bars: Bachelorette parties will become a constant staple of life in bars outside of college. I’ve been offered more beads and penis (suckers) than a topless chick at Mardi Gras.