If you’re new to Bowdoin this fall, your room is finally unpacked, pre-O trip past, homework beginning and new friendships emerging. College is no longer a distant land of freedom or self- reinvention, it’s here-- the present, and it comes with all sorts of unexpected twists and turns.
With new professors, more homework, learning hundreds of names and trying to find your niche around campus, freshman fall can be overwhelming. You may find yourself, understandably, “living for the weekend.”
Even though shows like ‘Greek’ make it seem like Jello shots, jungle juice, and shirtless frat brothers are the only option for a weekend at college, I assure you that at Bowdoin, this isn’t the case. Even if you do participate in the Bowdoin equivalent of the “Greek” scene you probably don’t want to produce a spectacle of television caliber.
On almost every college campus there is a running joke among upper classmen that you have to, ‘catch the freshman while they’re still fresh.’ When I think of ‘catching ‘em when they’re still fresh’, I immediately envision a group of about eight excited freshman girls in tight black skirts preparing for their first real college party. They’re all quick friends who may have had a few too many swigs of the Raspberry Smirnoff handle that’s been hidden under a bunk bed, anxiously awaiting the end of orientation.
After the cameras come out and multiple rounds of Rihanna’s ‘Cheers’ have echoed through halls of the freshman dorm, it is time to leave. The excitement follows the girls to the party––where upperclassmen dwell…. As more booze is poured, the night only becomes hazier, and there you go.
This is the point in the night where you just got caught. Your Raspberry Smirnoff has taken over, and it feels like you’re merely a puppet of its desires. Like one of those 90s “Choose Your Own Adventure” Books that we all loved so dear, I’m sure you can imagine where the story might go from here…
The following tips are less about dwelling on what other people think, and more about maintaining self-respect and minimizing regrets. Furthermore, while intoxication is never an invitation to be taken advantage of, it’s important to remember that—even at a small, intimate school—not everyone has your best interests at heart.
I truly believe that at college, your weekend is in your hands. If your friends don’t respect your right to choose how you spend your weekend, then in my opinion, maybe it’s time to rethink your social group. I guarantee that your friends will change and evolve throughout college, so don’t be afraid to expand your social circles if you aren’t comfortable with how your initial friends are behaving. Bowdoin has so much to offer beyond drunken nights at social house parties. I can say from personal experience that it’s tough to develop true friendships when a handle of cheap vodka muddles your only interactions with your ‘friends’.
If you do choose to partake… just be smart. It’s really not that hard. All you have to do to not be ‘that girl’ is to know yourself.
Go into your night with an idea in mind of what you are looking for. Make a pact with yourself that you will respect your own wishes as the night goes on, regardless of what those wishes might entail.
Once you take stock of what you’re looking for in your night, if you choose to drink, do so wisely. Here is my advice on how to have fun, without garnering negative attention.
- Don’t skip out on a meal before a night of drinking. Go to the dining hall and eat a good dinner. Your body and your conscience will thank you the next day.
- Stick to one type of alcohol. Mixing Cocoa Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch in Thorne might be fun, but I can assure you that a mix of beer, rum and vodka won’t give you the same satisfaction.
- Know your limits!!! Please don’t try to keep up with the Offensive Lineman down the hall. His body weight might be double yours, meaning you will get drunk exponentially faster.
- Pace yourself. If you alternate between alcohol and water throughout the night, you will be much more in control and might I add, much less hung over the next morning.
With these few tips, I hope you all find it a little easier to navigate your first few weekends at Bowdoin, and maybe even avoid being ‘caught’ while you’re still fresh. No matter how you choose to experience the social life here on campus, there are so many ways to enjoy yourself after a long workweek. It’s easy to not be ‘that’ girl. The choice is yours.