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The Stressful Side of Going to Frat Parties

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Gettysburg chapter.

You can smell the stale beer from a block away. Cigarette butts glare up at you as you drag your drunk friend up the porch steps. It’s another frat. The third of the night to be exact. You glance at your phone. “Ok, it’s 1:30, I can survive another half hour of this,” you think, but a pit is already forming at the bottom of your stomach. You wanted to leave the second you arrived at the first frat at 12. How can two hours seem so long? Frat parties can sometimes be fun and a great way to unwind after a stressful week. Other times, frat parties are the most stressful part of my week! Over the past few weeks, I have compiled a list of all the things I dislike about the quintessential college experience.

The ratio rule

There’s nothing quite as dehumanizing as when a guy asks to use you as a tool to help him get intoxicated or when a frat purposefully lets in more girls than guys in order to increase his brothers’ chances of getting some action later that night. Before I’ve even entered the frat I’ve already been reduced to an object by two different sets of guys. The only good thing about the rule is that it allows you to kick creepy guys out of your group because they “mess up the ratio.” However, the flip side of this is that sometimes you have to kick your guy friends out of the group for the same reason. All in all, the ratio rule is sexist and just makes everything much more stressful than it has to be.

The floor

I hate stepping in water that someone has spilled in my kitchen, so walking around in people’s spilled beverages isn’t something I particularly love doing. It is a guarantee that your shoes will never be able to live down your first night at a frat. There’s so much alcohol on the floor that if you licked it, you’d have to get your stomach pumped. So if you decide to go to a frat, DO NOT WEAR NICE SHOES. Most people wear old converse or cheap shoes from Target. You do not want to ruin your $500 shoes at a frat.

The creepy boys

Alcohol can turn a perfectly sweet guy into a creep. Drinking lowers people’s inhibitions, so you are much more likely to get hit on by someone who normally wouldn’t hit on you. Alcohol also conceals attractive qualities in guys, such as their intellect and wit. It is much easier to make a connection with a sober person who is truly being himself.


When you go out, there is a high probability that someone will end up crying. It might be about something stupid, like a drunk frat boy, or it could be about a serious issue. If your friend is crying about boys, just explain to her that she is worth loving and will meet someone someday. If your friend is crying over something serious, or is threatening to hurt herself, stay with her and call for help from your other sober friends. If the situation is serious, call a medical professional. Make sure to talk to your friend when she is sober, and advise her to talk to a therapist if she says anything that truly scares you.

Existential questions

Every time I go to a frat I end up questioning my motives in life. Does my complying with the ratio rule and allowing myself to be objectified make me a bad feminist? Should I be making out with someone right now like everyone else? Am I so uptight that I will never be able to have fun doing something that feels so unproductive? And most of all, do I really have to do this next weekend?


I am a freshman at Gettysburg college. I am considering majoring in Environmental Studies and Public Policy.