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Parties: A College Education

Written by Ferg, Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 in Alcohol Culture, Culture

animalhousebelushitoga3Like it or not, parties are an important part of socializing. From the back-alley pubs of a downtown near you, to the smelly dorm rooms of the freshman masses, to the highest alps of the tallest apartment buildings, parties remain one of the best ways to socialize and meet new people. Knowing how to act at parties, and how to react to different situations, is a very good skill. Doing it right will ensure that you have a fun and safe night.

Part 1 – Freshman Year: The Frat Party

Preparation – First off, prepare to wait to get in. I have seen some lines as long as an hour, just to get past the front door. Think about what will be comfortable to wear outside while you wait, but also where you will put all those parkas once you do get in. If you have a friend with a car, you can stash things there just before your grand entrance. Also, most frat parties require a small fee to get in, usually no more than 5 dollars (bring cash), in addition to needing a school ID.

Going with friends is always recommended for a frat party. Going stag, especially if you are female, is very dangerous. If you do have friends, know how much you are all planning on drinking. It is always best if there is a sober one around to help out in case things go south. Always plan on having a Designated Driver (DD) if there is any driving to be done.

Wearing shoes is also a must-do. Most fratboys lay down a tarp or other plastic groundcloth on the ground in this hall of guzzling to prepare for the worst. By the end of the night, it will be a sticky mess as people spill their drinks. Walking barefoot on this unpleasant pile is not fun.

Setting up a sort of “Buddy System” isn’t a bad idea either. Even if you aren’t in the same room with them, knowing that somebody is there with you can be a lifesaver. You know you have somebody to walk home with, and at worst case, to take care of you if things go south.

Finally, make sure to get something in your stomach. Partying on an empty stomach is a bad idea. You’ll get drunker faster, and sicker stronger. Aim for comfort foods with lots of carbohydrates to soak up that liquor, such as bread or rice.

Setting – Most frat parties are separated into only a few rooms of the frat house. The dance floor is where you’ll find the majority of the people. Wall to wall, these moving masses will be putting off enough sweat to drown an elephant. It’s going to be hot, and it’s going to be crazy. It will also most likely be a lot of fun. Don’t be afraid to show off those moves that your mother may have taught you; even simple swaying of the arms and buckling of the knees will be acceptable. People aren’t there because its a dance competition.

Most frats will also have a room dedicated to the graceful art of getting wrecked. Drinks will most likely include a suicide mix of Everclear and a few gallons of fruit punch to dilute it (commonly known as jungle juice). Everclear runs anywhere from 75-95% pure grain alcohol, so don’t be surprised if it tastes as bad as that description makes it sound. Again, people aren’t there to enjoy the liquor, they are there to get their Bobby Brown on. There will also most likely be a few hundred cans of the cheapest beer in town for those who consider jungle juice too girly for them. Usually, either choice will give you the same results.

Liquor is a limited resource, much like oil in the Middle East, and it does run out. No, it is not appropriate to use a “shock and awe” campaign to sneak in to a back room in search of more liquor. I’d suggest grabbing some alcohol as soon as you get in, and relying on that to get your buzz on. Going back for more liquor, especially if you arrive late, could mean a sober night.

The outside. You will find various things out in the wilderness of a frat house’s backyard. Smokers, kegs, tired females, and migratory trails of men making their way to the back hedges to urinate are common sights. If the bathroom is full, don’t be afraid to join them. Do be afraid if a female follows you out there. Popping squats is generally not acceptable, and, might I add, not very pleasant to witness.

Socializing – No matter who you talk to, people will say that they go to parties to have fun. For all of their stigmas, frat parties are no exceptions. Frat parties are very fun places to go and meet people if you have the right mentality about it. Do not go expecting to have any intellectual forms of conversation. It will most likely be too loud to understand complex sentences from another anyway. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make new friends. Hopefully, you or a friend with you knows other people at the party. Loudly yelling introductions is always fun, and can lead to meeting even more people. Frat parties are great ways to expand your circle of friends.

Be wary however of certain frat stereotypes. Drunk girls are usually exactly what they seem, very drunk, and this can lead to bad situations. If she is literally swaying on her feet, stay away. She most likely won’t remember your name even if you do introduce yourself. There is also a bonus danger of being left the only one to take care of her when she begins vomiting. Overly drunk guys, similarly, can be dangerous. Frat guys are known to be loud, boisterous, and violent for a reason. Unless you want to get a few “bro-fists” in the chest, be wary that a guy who seems like a fun party animal can take a comment wrong and get angry very quickly. I’ve been that guy before, and it is very easy to get angry when you misunderstand something.

Finally, know that meeting women at a frat party isn’t the worst thing ever, as long as you don’t treat it as a date. If you do happen to meet someone you’re interested in, I’d suggest getting to know them better outside of the party. Ask for a number, a name for Facebook, whatever. Just don’t expect things to get hot and heavy right then and there. If she does start to get a little too flirty, she probably isn’t into you for your witty conversation skills.

Protips –

  1. Never ever drink from a cup that has left your hand. If you put it down, leave it there. Drinking from an unknown cup could lead to many horrible things. GHB isn’t called the date-rape drug for no reason. Also, taking pills or doing other sorts of drugs that you or a friend didn’t personally bring is dangerous for the exact same reasons.

  2. Planning an activity the following morning (or afternoon) is a great idea as well. Everybody loves brunch. Plus, it’s a great place to invite any interesting people you met the night before. Be aware that most people will likely have hangovers, if they did anything right. Plan for a place where the food goes down easy and won’t induce any sort of food sickness (Pancakes good, raw squid bad).
  3. If you know one of the people throwing the party, or are affiliated to the frat, bringing something as a gift for the brothers throwing it isn’t a half-bad idea. Giving them something other than jungle juice to drink can make a great impact, and will lead to them inviting you again, and possibly to any special privileges the house provides (secret bathroom, no lines!).

Disaster Situations –

The Drunk Friend. So your bud had too much and is now making a fool of himself, or worse, throwing up all over. Whatever you do, do not leave him there. I repeat, do not leave him. Send somebody to go get the car if you have one, and get him home ASAP. If you don’t have a car, have at least one person walk home with him, as long as that doesn’t mean another stays there alone. Use the buddy system.

The Bailer. Your friend had a bad time and wants to leave your group there and head home early, even though everyone else is having a great time. To make him stay there will only piss him off more, and I guarantee his mood will only get worse. Yes, it sucks, but you should not let him go home alone.

The Un-Bailer. Your friend is having such a great time that he doesn’t want to leave with you, or ever worse, wants to go to a different, “more exclusive party” with a new friend. Just like in the last cases, use the buddy system. Leaving him alone can end up very bad for him. If this new party of his, or the current one he wants to stay at, ends up being something he didn’t expect, he may need some buddy power to get home safely.

The Cops. You and your friends are dancing the night away, when suddenly, you hear a loud knock on the door. It’s the police and they aren’t too happy that you guys are making such a big ruckus. Most likely, a neighbour has called in a noise complaint. It isn’t too serious, but the police do want to keep the noise level down, especially after midnight. They will usually ask to speak to a owner of the house, a fratboy will do as well. The police will either ask them to turn it down, or to end the party. Both will mean that some people get shuffled out the door anyway, fewer bodies means less noise. Though this doesn’t mean the end of a party, it is a good opportunity to leave in a safe manner with your whole gang. Rarely have I ever seen police griefing people about underage drinking, just walk by casually and they know that you’re in control of your actions. What they will be looking for is anybody who needs medical help from drinking too much, or somebody stupid enough to carry around an open bottle of alcohol (illegal in most cities in the US).

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2 Responses to Parties: A College Education

  1. Tyciol says:

    I didn’t know open bottles of alcohol were illegal, I guess to make sure to cap that thing. Don’t people drink beer out of a bottle sometimes though? Maybe that’s just allowed in bars? I should check Canadan law for this.

    Do you have any guides on how to join a good fraternity?

  2. Inoxia says:

    I’d like to capitalize on the first protip, not drinking from a cup you’ve put down. GHB is not much fun for the unsuspecting consumer, especially if you’re female. Of course, as mentioned, other drugs could have been dropped into the cup as well. Unknowingly drinking the wrong chemicals- especially if you are on some medications or have some sort of health condition- could easily be fatal. In short, know your body and know your drink.

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