I would consider myself to be kind of a boring person. That's not to say that I'm uninteresting or dull, I'm just not as "exciting" as most college students are. I don't like parties, at all. I think my first traumatizing experience with a party was when I had a sleepover with my friends on my 7th birthday. By 8 p.m., I was ready for everyone to go back home so I could be alone. Ever since I've been labeled as a bit of an introvert by my friends and family. I would say that I lean more towards the introverted side of the spectrum because I do vibe off of others energy quite well, I just need time to recharge.
I didn't experience much of the "fun" side of college my first year. I was always too busy working or doing homework, that I just never really put myself out there to do it. I'd already labeled it as something I wasn't into, so why would I even go? It couldn't hurt to see what all of the fuss was about. Last week, my friends asked me if I wanted to go "fratting" with them. For those of you who don't know, (because I didn't) Fratting is almost like bar hopping, except with the frat houses. I figured this was my opportunity to test the waters with a group of people I trust.
Now, on top of my introverted nature, I have chronic anxiety, and situations, where people are not in control of themselves, make that anxiety worse. Going into this, I prepared myself and my friends for what could happen if my anxiety gets out of control, and they were extremely kind and patient with me as we made plans. On that Thursday, my friends and I ventured out onto the streets.
The first place we went to was a kickback. I honestly had no idea what a kickback was, my friends explained it as a chilled out, an intimate party where people drink. The kickback consisted of meeting a lot of random people, and one guy shamed me for not drinking alcohol. For my own personal beliefs and reasons, I don't drink, so to be patronized for it got under my skin a bit. Nevertheless, I took my cup of cola and smiled.
At 11 p.m., we hit the frats. This is where things started to get more intense. I enjoyed that at the frats you can dance to the loud music, and no one really cares. However, it felt like I was the only sober person in the world. Part of me felt sad that I was missing out on the freedom from your mind that alcohol can give you, but quickly lost that feeling as I saw people start to lose it throughout the night.
People are all over each other and everyone seems like a messy kind of drunk. People are making out everywhere, the floor has spilled alcohol and sometimes vomit all over the place. I'm definitely out of my element, and I desperately wished I could call my boyfriend to come to pick me up. However, when you go with a group of girls, there's a sense of comradery, and you don't leave anyone alone. Not even to go to the bathroom, and after seeing the way some of these guys look at girls like they're meals and they haven't eaten in years, I'm not surprised we take those precautions. The frat guys walk around as if they are sharks and the girls are minnows. One guy even bumped into me and started to move in like he was about to eat me or something. (Yikes, that sounds wrong.) Thankfully my friend pushed him out of the way.
Mostly what I've learned from this experience is that going to frat parties is neither as good nor as bad as I thought it would be. There's something kind of comical about being the only sober person in the room, but I think to fully experience the fun at frat party, you have to be comfortable with drinking. (And also probably single). My personal experience wasn't anything special or horrifying, I was just submerged in a culture that I don't necessarily belong to. However, I'm glad I got the experience, I feel as though I understand not only college life better, but my friends interest better as well.