Do's and Dont's: Bar Etiquette


I recently turned 21, and the East Lansing bar scene has been a whole new experience for me.

I didn’t have a fake ID, so I’d never spent a night out at the bars before my 21st birthday. But I didn’t feel like I was missing much, especially because most of my friends weren’t 21 either. I wouldn’t say going to bars has been a bad experience. I really like going out with friends and having a good time after a stressful week. However, in the past month, I’ve begun to pick up on “bar etiquette.”


1) Use the bathroom before you go out

If you feel like you need to go at the bar, PLEASE try and hold it while you wait for the next available stall. I’ve heard too many horror stories about girls peeing in the bathroom sinks at Rick’s. I know how hard it can be to control yourself, especially if you’ve had a few drinks. But it’s gross and embarrassing, and you’ll definitely regret it the next day.

2) Tip your bartender

Most of us are college students on a budget, but bartenders are servicing you and I’m sure they have bills to pay too. Tipping might be difficult when you’re strapped for cash, but just think of it as an extra dollar or two added to your drink’s total cost.

3) Know your limits

Here we are again with the bathroom thing. Don’t be that person who throws up in the sink. Or the o ne hogging the stall for 10 minutes while everyone else waits. I’m sure it’s awful to be in that position, but it’s not fun to watch or hear that happening either. Not to mention, think of the person who is going to have to clean that later. I don’t want to sound like a mom, but know when you’ve had too much to drink and be sure to stop. Waking up the next morning feeling awful isn’t a fun experience, either.

4) Wear appropriate attire. Luckily, I was warned beforehand of how messy bar floors can be, so I wore shoes I wouldn’t mind getting dirty. With all ?the drinks that get spilled, it’s best to find a good balance between an outfit you feel confident in and your Sunday best. Keep in mind you could get spilled on and bars are usually dirty.


Guys, there is a better way to meet a girl than by walking up to her and basically rubbing your junk on her behind. Most of the time it’s unwanted, and it’s a very awkward experience. You have more of a chance of meeting a girl (who will want to talk to you) if you actually introduce yourself and say “Hello.”

2) Hold your drink while you dance

Everyone wants to be on the dance floor at Rick’s, but that doesn’t mean your drink has to come with you. As someone who has had drinks spilled on her by sloppy dancers.

I would appreciate if more people were careful with their glass. Coming home reeking of beer isn’t ideal. Take a break for a minute, enjoy your drink, then go back and bust your moves.

3) Be that couple who shows extreme P DA on the dance floor

I’m not saying you and your boo-thang — either long-term or just for the night — can’t have a good time on the dance floor. But it is awkward for t he rest of us who are trying to dance around you as you two suck each others’ faces in the middle of the crowd. PDA has a time and a place, and it’s not at the bar on the dance floor.

4) Be a party pooper

Is it cheesy if I say “and have a good time” here? Because I’m going to. Turning 21 and being able to go to the bar has been great. You choose whether or ?not you have a fun bar experience. My friends and I have also made Pokee Stix from Goombas our end of the night tradition. As long as you make smart decisions and don’t e xpect too much from going to the bar, you will have a good time.

Meagan Beck is a State News reporter. Reach her at

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