Tom Witherow: Here’s to a new year of Mis-Spent Youth

Forget giving up gin and starvation dieting; get so drunk you fall off your chair and you’ll probably still get a job at the end of it

Have you ever seen a guy fall off his chair in a club while being straddled by a girl? No, nor had I, until last week.

It wasn’t like the rookie schoolboy, who leans too far back off his chair, bored to a pulp by a droning lecturer. This was a fine exhibition in an art that no number of Friday afternoon seminars could allow us to perfect.

You’ll know which club it happened in. Boy had recently been “boarded” by Girl, who had proceeded to “graze” upon his face (and no, nothing so civilised as a box of hipster nibbles). Boy then placed a hand where in my humble opinion no hand belongs. Especially true as it has probably just delved into a box of piss-covered prawn crackers. In a fit of pleasure – well, a drunken turn – the pair pitched and swayed before coming to their final fate, crashing in a knot of limbs in front of the bar.

The crowd roared with laughter. “Who would be so stupid to get *that* drunk?!?!?”, they guffawed.

YUSU may now have four club nights, but does anyone go to them? No! They’re too busy tweeting about Moriarty’s gay kiss.

But I was not with them. I could only stand and applaud such tenacity. For only at university can we indulge in such disgraceful behaviour. To fall at the foot of the altar one step short of cunnilingus must surely be commended. Do that at an office party and you won’t be able to look your boss in the eye for a year. This couple are crusaders against the evil of “Well-Spent Youth”.

The Well-Spent Youth is a phenomenon which has come about because the pressures of finding a job, the insanity of £9k fees, the stranglehold of monogamy – they have meant that “fun” and “being young” are no longer cool.

If you don’t believe me then hear this. My housemate is giving up drinking for January. I thought this was joke at first. No, a student, aged 22, will not drink for 31 days. It stinks of the WSY.

The ridiculous name he gives it, the “Dryathlon”, somehow makes it sound athletic – it’s not. Alcohol Concern tells us it is “a chance to lose weight, feel better, save money and make a difference”. Turns out side effects include not wanting to go out, leaving parties early and complaining, both in person and on social media. Actually I’d prefer if you didn’t tell the world of the fun-spongery you’re getting up to.

Exhibit B of our Well-Spent Youths. It’s January, we had a couple of puddings over Christmas, so we diet. Fine. But there’s a new diet in town. Last year it was the 5:2, which for the mercifully uninitiated is when you eat normally for five days and then “fast” for two.

By fast, they mean starve, cry, have belly aches, be “hangry”, and in the case of my mother, get in a grump and shout at your son. But lo, in puritan 2014, this is not enough. This year’s fad is… *drumroll*… the 4:3 diet! That’s right folks, not two but three days of fasting! A real kick in the nuts for those of use who like food* (*life).

And the list goes on. Onesies and flannel pyjamas are a staple fashion accessory. Why? Because it’s now cooler to stay in, watch TV and drown your Sherlockian frustration into a bottle of Blossom Hill (NB Not in January) than to go out and see your friends. YUSU may now have four club nights, but does anyone go to them? No! They’re too busy tweeting about Moriarty’s gay kiss.

When February comes and I can get some friends to leave the confines of their freezing cold houses it’s going to be goodbye liver and dignity, hello overdraft. I hope that we’ll get so pissed that we too will fall off our chairs, spewing out garbled attempts at “carpe diem”. In the name of a misspent youth and a story for your grandchildren, I implore you to do the same. Happy New Year.


  1. Pretty sure your housemate was sipping Whiskey on Saturday night ;)

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  2. classic witherow crap. do you think you’re russel brand

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  3. I think you made some interesting observations, but this article has no sense of coherence. And I am of the opinion that being deliberately incoherent is reserved for the coolest people only.

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