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The Collegiette’s Guide to Beer Pong

In my four years of college, I’ve learned a lot of useful things like how to stay organized, how to network with professionals, and how to prepare for an interview. However, I’ve also learned a lot of useless tips and tricks of the trade, like where to order food from after 2 AM, how to perfect the messy bun, and most importantly, how to play beer pong. After hearing complaint after complaint from my guy friends about how bad girls can be at Beirut, I thought it might be useful to compile a guide to guys’ biggest problems with their female pong partners, and how girls can fix them so they can rise to the occasion:

Real Live College Guy Complaint #1: Your Head’s in the Clouds

Among the several guys I surveyed, the most common response was that when a girl enters a game of beer pong, she doesn’t make any attempt to pay attention. This could range anywhere from getting distracted by her friends, constantly texting or even leaving halfway through the game. Guys take beer pong pretty seriously, and they expect their partners to do the same.

How To Fix It: Get Your Head in the Game

You may not aspire to play in the Beer Pong Olympics anytime soon, or even really care about the outcome of the game, but at least pretend you do! Likewise, you don’t have to be an all-star to make a commitment to your team. Leave your phone in your pocket for 20 minutes, and make your friends cheer you on. You’ll find that when you’re paying attention, you’ll pick up on more and more rules, and actually play better. And, if you’re dying to go find a Campus Cutie you’ve been texting, think of it this way: the more focus you devote to your beer pong performance, the faster the game will be over, and you can be on your way.

Real Live College Guy Complaint #2: You Skipped Beer Pong 101

A couple guys mentioned that their biggest pet peeve is when their collegiate partners don’t know the first thing about how to play. There are some fundamentals every girl should be aware of before nose-diving into a beer pong game. While more sophisticated rules vary from table to table, try and know the basics before agreeing to join the game—or at the very least, preface your entry by telling your partner you’re not sure about some of the rules.

How To Fix It: Read the Manual (At Least This One)

Because beer pong is played at all different types of schools, it can be hard to pinpoint some universal rules. However, in general, here are some tips from the Real Live College Guys so that you’re not walking up to the table blind:

  1. There are 10 cups on each side; don’t call for a “re-rack!!!!!!” when you can’t rationally (or numerically) make another shape.

  2. Don’t touch the cups, no matter how asymmetrical or disorganized they may look. If a cup slides dramatically to one side because the table is wet, just push it back to where it was. But in general, don’t touch the cups.

  3. Don’t let your elbows cross the table. It’s a real thing, so don’t try and fight it.

  4. If you make two cups in a row, you’re “heating up”; if you make three in a row, you’re “on fire,” and get to keep shooting until you miss a cup.

Real Live College Guy Complaint #3: Your Motto is “Trust Me, I’m Really Good”

It’s true, every guy loves a girl with confidence. But, this is one area where it’s actually perfectly fine if you’re not a superstar. Guys know that girls play beer pong a lot less than they do, and totally understand that you might not know all the rules or may miss a few cups. But walking into the game with a false sense of assurance isn’t giving you any credit, even if you are really good!

How To Fix It: Don’t Have a Motto

The easiest way to avoid criticism from the other side of the table is to just not make comments about your beer pong skills before the game starts! Saying things like, “Trust me, I’m really good,” or “I’m actually not that bad, I made a ton of cups when I was playing last weekend,” actually end up hurting you in the long run. Instead, comment on how you and your partner are going to make an awesome team, or that you’ve been getting a lot of practice playing the last couple of weeks. You can exude confidence in other ways, without bolstering skills you can’t always prove you have. Stand up straight, stay focused throughout (see Complaint #1), and don’t get defensive! So you missed a cup? Big deal, I’m sure the guy you’re playing with has missed a couple thousand cups since he started college, too. So the other team called you out for elbows? Offer to shoot again farther away. You don’t have to proclaim yourself the princess of beer pong in order to show your guy friends you want to play the game, and play it well.

Real Live College Guy Complaint #4: You’re Wasting All the Natty Lights

Beer is an acquired taste for some girls, but it’s like sugar water to a lot of college guys. They like it, and they drink it fast, so it might be hard for your guy friends to understand why you aren’t guzzling down your cups of warm beer with a sand/lint garnish, no thanks to the debris the ping pong ball has managed to pick up after every shot. But, leaving all your cups to the side and letting them sit there all night isn’t cool, and pretty wasteful considering your guy friends might have paid for it. And even worse is handing all of the cups to your partner to drink. Like I said, guys generally love beer. But I don’t think anyone, no matter the gender, can stomach all 10 beer pong cups while your partner stands there watching.

How To Fix It: Compromise

The key to compromising with this complaint is to first and foremost, know your limits. If you know that beer makes you sick, or that you’ve already had a lot to drink, reconsider playing. That said, if you don’t like beer, or something else about the cups has raised a concern or nine, suggest playing with water cups. That way, you can have your own drink, and you’re not drinking out of cups that probably haven’t been washed since you graduated high school. If a guy has a big enough problem with that, tell him to have fun contracting mono and find another game to play. If you’re not comfortable, it’s not worth it!

There you have it. The next time you’re playing beer pong with your guy friends, keep these things in mind and hopefully, they’ll have nothing to whine about. Just remember to play (and drink) responsibly!


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