Re: "Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it,"
First in this galaxy is plausible. First in the universe is less likely.
Our galaxy has around 300 billion stars. If you look at how many steps were involved in getting to intelligent life on Earth, it's easy to believe it's so astronomically unlikely that it is a rare event even with that many stars. (Eg going from simple single-cell creatures to complex single-cell creatures, or going from single cells to multiple cells.) We also don't know how important and rare our Moon is, or whether it is necessary to have at least two planets in the habitable zone. Nor do we know how long intelligent life survives for when it does evolve. The odds of us remaining a high tech civilisation (eg, able to use radio telescopes) for the next 500 years don't seem that great. When people take the Drake equation and set all the unknowns to 1%, they are being unimaginative.
However, the number of galaxies in the universe seems unbounded, so there is probably intelligent life in other galaxies. Too far away to visit or communicate with.