When I look back on my college years, I often wonder how I got through them alive -- and no, I'm really not even being hyperbolic. When I wasn't in class or doing homework, I spent more or less the rest of my time partying with my friends, drinking way too much vodka, and habitually blacking out (FYI, blacking out isn't cool at all, you guys). While I ended up getting totally sober, the hard partying thing was pretty much standard culture among my peers. People simply liked to get f*cked up. But these days, while I don't partake myself anymore, I have to wonder, do millennials drink more or less than what I remember from my college years?
Well, according to a survey done by Eventbrite, called “Brighter Futures: Challenging Perceptions of Millennials,” twenty-somethings are definitely drinking less than they used to. In fact, according to this pretty heartening (dare I say impressive) research, results show that millennials are actually more into food than alcohol these days.
And no, I don't mean going to Denny's at 3 a.m. for some hangover-prevention chili fries. I mean millennials would actually rather eat delicious food than get wasted.
The survey included 1,023 participants between the ages of 21 and 37 who have attended an event such as a festival, gig, rave, talk, or immersive experience in the last year, and was a follow-up to Eventbrite's past research findings, which found that millennials are generally more interested in spending their money on experiences rather than objects.
Yes, believe it or not, the trend these days is to invest time and money on interesting and diverse ways to enjoy one another's company face-to-face, instead of spending time online, or even going out to eat or hanging out at a bar. There's been a significant drop in “out-of-home drinking,” despite the fact that millennials want to, and do, go out more in general.
But now, they're going out in search of more interesting experiences, rather than boozy experiences.
This is actually referred to as a “growing experience economy,” and it's no joke, people. Apparently 80 percent of those surveyed in this research would sacrifice something in their lives to be able to afford going to more events, and would actually give up spending on their day-to-day eating habits to pay to go to, in particular, food-based festivals (same, though).
One in three participants are even willing to sell their possessions on eBay to fund more IRL good times. And 68 percent of those surveyed would rather spend their last $10 on a food truck snack than a drink (again, same).
Plus, surprisingly enough, the slow and steady shift away from alcohol doesn't just have to do with the not-so-cute moments that tend to wind up on your Instagram story. Although participants in this research did refer to being super plastered as both “embarrassing” and “pathetic” (a little harsh, no?), the disinterest in booze also has to do with a rising concern for overall wellness, and an interest in being more mentally present for their social experiences. Even when it comes to those who consider themselves “ravers,” one in three have been to (and enjoyed) daytime raves that don't include any booze or drugs.
In fact, more millennials report not drinking at all at events (18 percent), while only 11 percent say they've passed out drunk after a night out.
Similarly, seven in 10 of those surveyed said they'd rather pace themselves with drinking than go wild.
And of course, since at the end of the day, all we really need is love, going out to diverse events is also sparked by an interest in face-to-face romantic matchmaking, rather than online dating. The Eventbrite report found that people are hungry for real life, heart-fluttering encounters that places like festivals can provide, rather than the endless swipe on our dating apps.
Here's to meeting someone in line for the Porta Potty while you're both sober AF, amirite?