You’re moved in to a dorm, you’ve made some friends, you’re sick from dining hall food. College is fun, now isn’t it! If you enjoy free alcoholic beverages, rowdy people, sweating and crowded spaces — it’s probably time to head to a frat party. If fraternities do not abound, the rules should apply to any rowdy gathering involving boisterous young men. And even if you’re past the freshman year prime, the following guidance should serve as a good refresher course.
Be fashionably late by at least 30 minutes: Most parties are scheduled with the assumption that people will be running late. Showing up early will make you seem out of the loop. During freshman year orientation, my friends and I met a sophomore guy who invited us to a party at his frat. He told us to come by around 10, so, wanting to seem polite, we rang the doorbell just after 10. It seemed quiet, to say the least. When we asked where we could find our new friend, we were directed upstairs, only to find him walking out of the shower, wearing only a towel. We took the cue to head back later. Much, much later.
Always pregame the pregame: Don’t expect top shelf liquor at any large gathering. In all likelihood, you’ll be drinking something from a plastic bottle that’s labeled as vodka but tastes more like rubbing alcohol. Even if you can stomach the taste, the hangover will likely leave you incapacitated through the next afternoon. Not to mention, you’ll have a tough time finding anything to mix the liquor with once you’re at the party. If you can get your hands on something better before you head over to rage, definitely do so.
Be wary of Jungle Juice, or any alcoholic punch that lives in a bucket: Aside from the dirtiness factor, jungle juice (or whatever the local punch of choice may be) is pretty much the collegiate version of mystery meat.
Be careful walking down stairs: There is a big, big chance you will get pushed, or spilled on, or slip while walking down those rickety basement stairs so common at these gatherings. Be particularly mindful when it rains. After some inclement weather last year, I went with friends to a big party where the floors were slick. A friend of mine lingered too long on the stairway, and managed to fall down a story of steps. It was a classic scene from a teen movie moment.
Do not wear high heels: If you wear your Sunday Best to a frat party, you’re doing the opposite of playing it cool. You’ll look inexperienced and it will seem like you’re trying too hard. Also, see above: story of friend who fell down stairs.
Don’t bring a coat unless it’s a blizzard: Do you want to leave your coat behind a chair, where it will probably be ruined? Didn’t think so! Let’s also not forget the theft factor. A friend of mine thought she “lost” her coat, until she spotted another girl wearing it on the way to class.