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Anna Nolan: An occasional night out is vital -- and it saves the economy

Almost half of all young people in Dublin manage to get out at least two or three times a week -- to the pub, for a meal or to the cinema.

Our twentysomethings refuse to sit in all week and count their pennies. They are putting their nights in, with Pot Noodles and cans of Dutch Gold, to the side and painting the town for us all.

I think this is great. It could come across that this information means young people are squandering their money, or are still living the Celtic Tiger way of life -- but actually our souls and our businesses would be destroyed if we were not going out there and spending some dosh.

How wonderful that we haven't lost our joie de vivre, our desire to meet, talk, drink, laugh and spend. We are such a sociable nation, it is part of our make-up. We thrive on interaction, story telling, exciting nights out and as a result maybe some sexy nights in! The young wans of Dublin haven't taken on board the woes of these dark times and turned their lives into a boring, stay-at-home existence. No, they are getting out there and keeping this city alive.

I have been broke many times, not in a woe-is-me-sort of way, but in a life-is-crap-when-you're-broke sort of way. It just is. You are anxious in the morning. You wake up and believe you're a terrible person.

When you have no money, you feel you are the most useless person in the world and that you are letting everyone down. You see everything from a monetary point of view and judge everyone on how much money they have.

Your world becomes tiny and you presume that everyone who has more money than you is living a happy, fun, fulfilling life.



TOUGH

Going out takes us out of this small world into a world that can relieve the tension, break down the anxiety and help us have a good ol' laugh at others, and ourselves.

When I was in my twenties and broke in Dublin, I still went out. And by going out I mean meeting a friend for two pints in the Norse Man. Going to the Savoy cinema once every two weeks. Arranging a dinner at a pal's house -- not an expensive night but a night of good food, gossip and the odd shot of Buckfast.

When I was broke and a mature student in London, my lifeline was going down to the student union, or any other pub in Bethnal Green that would give a good deal to us students and the OAPS. Going out is not about spending a fortune. It's about socialising, and that is so important if we are to survive the tough times we have at the moment. If we all said to ourselves that going out was out of the question, not only would the economy crash, but our spirits would crash and burn.

Going through Dublin city centre on a Friday or Saturday night, is like walking through a different world.

Dark sky, bright lights, thousands of people in pubs, clubs and walking around. If you take a taxi through Camden St you see a world that is alive with happy, young revellers, enjoying restaurants, cafes, chip shops and clubs.

Yeah, they might be drunk, yeah, you might see a few of them shouting and giving out, but that's the beauty of city life.



TEARS

Our survey might be shocking in parts, but what gives me hope is that we refuse to stop living. We refuse to let our financial strains stop us from meeting, moshing or mating.

We have cried our bitter tears of regret, but it's wonderful we are moving on and getting out there to paint the town not only red, but all the colours of the rainbow.

This buzzing capital is the place to be, let's learn something from the twentysomethings and get out there and enjoy it.