What Your Mother Didn't Tell You About College Parties

What Your Mother Didn't Tell You About College Parties

Heels may be cute for the pictures and all, but they are not cute in a grimy frat basement and they definitely do not mix with alcohol.
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Heya, incoming freshmen! College is about discovering yourself: who you are and who you want to be. While your education (should) come first, college is also about new experiences and finding a balance between work and fun. Your first college party can be both exciting and scary, and if you don't know what to expect it can be entirely overwhelming. Here is what your mother didn't tell you about college parties:

1. You can say "No."

It is inevitable that you will come into contact with alcohol and/or drugs at a college party. There is no reason for me to sugarcoat the fact that most people who are there will probably be drinking. You may be pressured into having a drink but you heard it in your elementary school D.A.R.E. classes - alcohol isn't the only way to have fun. If you are uncomfortable with drinking/drugs it is always up to you if you want to say no. If you're uncomfortable in those types of situations maybe the party scene isn't for you, and that's okay.

2. "That wouldn't happen at a place like ______" is a horrible misconception.

It is a horrible misconception to think that predators do not exist on college campuses. While it may be a hard pill to swallow, sexual violence is extremely prevalent on college campuses and it could happen to anybody anywhere. When you go out, please make sure that you are with a group of friends that you trust and always have each other's backs. If your friend wouldn't do something sober, don't let them do it drunk.

3. Get. Your. Own. Drinks.

The golden rule: do not accept a drink from anybody that you don't know/trust. It doesn't matter how nice somebody seems, if you've been talking to them all night, or what - you don't know them. It may sound cynical, but it's important to know what's in the cup that you're drinking. In fact, bringing your own drink to the party is a great idea, too.

4. If you leave it, you dump it.

Your mother probably told you this one, but I'll reinforce it anyway. If you leave your drink anywhere and come back to it, dump it out and get a new one - there is no reason to risk picking it back up again.

5. Wear practical shoes.

Heels may be cute for the pictures and all, but they are not cute in a grimy frat basement and they definitely do not mix with alcohol. There is nothing clean about college house parties and you don't want to ruin your cute heels with sticky punch and sludge.

6. Don't dress in anything you care about.

You're going to be packed like sardines in a basement full of sweaty, drunk people with colored punch in their cups. Have cheap, designated "frat" clothes for those nights when you want to go out because odds are they're going to be ruined after a few nights. Oh, and definitely don't wear white.

7. Frat bathrooms are hard to stomach.

If you drank too much and feel sick, definitely don't head for a frat bathroom. Ladies, I know it's not as simple as stepping outside to go to the bathroom, but just be prepared - frat bathrooms are not sanitary and there will be no toilet paper. Maybe stick some tissues in your pockets before going out.

8. Pace yourself.

It is not a competition to see who can blackout first. I can't assess your morals from behind a computer screen, but I can tell you that being blackout drunk is not fun and the hangover is even worse. Please pace yourself - sip from a cup, don't drink straight hard liquor, you know the drill. It's never a good time to babysit your friends over the toilet bowl, so don't be that friend either.

9. Eat first.

Alcohol will affect an empty stomach in a much different way than a full one, so make sure that you eat a good meal first. One drink on an empty stomach can do the same as 3 on a full one.

10. If somebody is sick, call 911 dammit.

I'm sure that you've heard all of the horror stories of college students dying of alcohol poisoning. If you were drinking and see somebody who needs help, don't worry about getting in trouble — JUST CALL 911! Odds are nobody's going to be arresting you for underage drinking when they're concerned with your friend who has alcohol poisoning. Don't just lay them down and hope for the best - if they are not okay put them on their side with a backpack on their back (this way, they won't roll over) and call for help. Ask yourself this: would you rather get in trouble for drinking or be responsible for something happening to your friend?

Cover Image Credit: lilymonster / Flickr

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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