Student Life

How To... Sneak out of a social event

By Lily Martin• Last updated: Nov 1, 2023
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Attending social events at university is inevitable, although perhaps more avoidable in the current climate, so knowing the best tricks for sneaking out is invaluable. Especially when you first start at the university of your dreams, you find yourself trying lots of clubs and societies that actually aren’t your thing. And the number of times I’ve ended up socialising with a group of people I have nothing in common with is endless.

University is a rewarding and exciting place, where the vast majority of people make friends for life. So when choosing how to spend your time, sometimes some events just don’t cut it and making a rapid u-turn back to your very comfy bed isn’t something to be ashamed of.

So here’s my top four invaluable ways of getting out of there when you need to most.

How to sneak out: 4 invaluable ways 

  • The silent treatment
  • The awkward excuse
  • The not-turning up
  • The technical difficulties

1. The silent treatment

Although events in person are few and far between at present, mastering the silent getaway is an important part of life. Picture the scene. You’ve gone to check out a club at the Students’ Union. Sat on a foldable chair amongst 50 other first-year students, the President starts describing how the dance club meets three times a week to rehearse.

And you realise, suddenly, that this is not the ballroom dancing you expected. This is hip-hop. You don’t want to get roped into joining a group and then looking like a bad player when you don’t show up for practice. So, as everyone stands up to move into groups, you grab your bag and make a run for it, slipping through a side door. Alternatively, you can do the old going to the bathroom and not coming back ploy. Either way, you’ve escaped.

2. The awkward excuse

Prone to either causing issues or not working at all, the awkward excuse should always be a last resort - unless you are out with a particularly lovely group of people (in which case, why are you leaving?). “Sorry, I don’t feel well” is a classic, but feel free to be more inventive.

Remember, realising that these aren’t your people and you’re not comfortable isn’t anything to be embarrassed about. Maybe just be honest. But one way or another, this is the easiest, and perhaps most risky, way of getting out of an event once you’re already there.

3. The not-turning up

It’s obvious and painfully simple. If you have second thoughts about being in the mood for socialising, then just don’t go. Maybe warn people if they’re expecting you, for the sake of being polite if nothing else, but don’t feel like you have to attend every event. You might have heaps of work to finish, be tired, or it could be throwing it down with rain outside.

Trying new things is an important part of university life. But recognising when you need a night off is also equally as important for your comfort and your wellbeing.

4. The technical difficulties

A personal favourite of mine in the weekly Zoom call with my best friends from back home. The technical difficulties excuse is as simple as it sounds. Dropping out of a call and claiming you’re having internet issues is a classic and usually is without retribution. If you’re not feeling the vibe, then don’t be afraid to end the call.

I hear there’s excellent stuff on Netflix at the moment. Curl up in bed with some chocolate and appreciate the fact that they’ve seen your face and know you’re alive, but you just don’t want to chat about Maria’s new boyfriend for three hours tonight.


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Lily Martine, a specialised study abroad content writer, with a wealth of experience aiding students in their educationa...Read More

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