With classes starting in just three weeks I have been thinking a lot about how much has changed for me since last year. I remember how scared I was to start my freshman year of college. I was scared I wouldn't be able to find my classrooms, I was scared I wouldn't make any friends, even that I wouldn't have anything to do on the weekends. Frankly, the list of my internal fears could probably go on for days. However, one thing about college that caught me off guard were the parties. The first weekend I moved into my new dorm home for the year, my roommate and I went to our first college party. Now, some would say it's different than high school but I am afraid that would be an understatement, for me at least. Personally, I didn't go to a lot of parties in high school so it seemed even crazier to me, how many people would show up to them. I learned a lot throughout the year, though, so from my experience and with some help from people I have asked about what they think would be good things to know, here's some advice for when you start going to your first college parties.
1. Always go with friends.
Rule of thumb for any party anywhere: Never go alone. Even if you think your friends are meeting you there, or you think you'll know people there, it's not safe and if you end up not knowing anyone there, it can get really awkward really quick for you.
2. Don't be scared to step outside your comfort zone.
Maybe you're not much of a dancer, or maybe you're not the type to go up to that random guy and tell him he's cute, but hey, this is college, so do it. Honestly, no one cares as much as they did in high school about anything, so don't be scared to try new things, or go out of your box a little bit. Obviously don't do anything that makes you too uncomfortable or puts you in danger but as far as dancing on tables goes, keep it classy and go all out. You'll have fun, I promise and everyone else will be too concerned with themselves to worry about making fun of you.
3. DON'T bring up high school.
I'm sure you were a real big shot when you were the quarterback of your senior football team in your small town but trust me, no one cares. Once you start college you have officially been knocked right back down to the bottom of the totem pole, remember that. Nobody cares what type of car you drove, no one cares what sports you played or how good your teams were, and no one cares that you graduated on National Honors Society (even though they should). Stick to talking about your new school and talking about their sports teams, you will get much farther.
4. Don't be a wall hugger.
Wall huggers: the people at parties who find that one really comfy chair in the corner of the room, sit down and don't move until asked if they want to go home. Don't be that person. It might not seem like it, but there is actually a lot to do at these parties. You can go out back and socialize with the smokers, go find the beer pong or flip cup table, go dance, you simply have to get up and walk around to find these things, so do it!
5. Dress cute, not trashy.
Girls, there is a thin line between looking cute when you go out, and looking like that one girl that every guy is gonna look at and think 'cool she looks easy.' Don't be the second. You will get way more compliments from girls if you just dress cute, and honestly, those compliments are far better than any compliments you will ever get from a guy telling you that your ass looks good hanging out of those short shorts.
6. Play the games provided.
I don't care if you suck at party games, it's a fantastic way to meet people and its something to do and it's fun. Also if you never play the games you will never get better, and becoming a pro at beer pong is fun, especially if you're a girl cause theirs nothing that bothers guys more than getting beaten by a girl.
7. Not every guy actually is a sweetheart, but not every guy is going to drug you.
Ladies, I'm sure you have heard a lot of warnings as you approach your first year of college about all of the evil guys out there who are going to drug you and take you home. Now yes this is a very real thing and it is something to be careful of, but not every guy is a rapist, which you also have to remember. Also, some guys are jerks, yes, but that still doesn't mean they are going to drug you, it just means they want one thing from you and if you don't willingly give that to them they will move on to the next girl. Just be careful, but don't take it too far, good rule of thumb, don't go home from a party with a guy, ask him if he wants to hang out the next afternoon, if he still wants to hang out with you when the sun's out and you guys do something in public, then he's probably not too bad.
8. If the party has a theme, go all out.
Themes are fun, trust me. IF you find out a party has a theme, don't be ashamed to go to the nearest Good Will to find something that will go with it perfectly, it's a lot of fun and it's usually the ones who don't dress in theme that stand out at parties.
9. Make friends.
Don't feel like the only people you can talk to all night are the ones you showed up with, talk to other people, get phone numbers, ask them to get Panda with you tomorrow, college is about meeting new people and parties are a great way to do that. Also if you're a girl, make other girlfriends, and if you're a guy, make guy friends, it's not all about finding someone to hook up with, just making friends will mean a lot more in the long run.
10. Girls, don't wear heels to a party.
Just don't do it.
11. Utilize the designated drivers.
Most fraternity parties will have freshman drivers available to take you to the party and take you home from the party afterward, and I suggest you use them. No matter how crammed the car is if the driver says he can fit one more, you squeeze and take that one more spot, walking home after a party is the worst walk of shame ever. Plus you never know, you could meet one of your best friends because he drove for you one night, I did!
12. Just have fun!
Whatever you are doing or not doing or whatever party you are at, just remember to have fun. Dance on the tables, sing along to that one song you know by heart as loud as you can, don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. We all embarrassed ourselves at least once as freshmen, trust me no one is going to remember it when you're walking across that stage finally getting your diploma. You get one college experience, so make the most of it.