10 Tips I Learned From My First College Party

This is going to come as a surprise to some people, but here is the total truth: I am 18 years old. I have never had a sip of alcohol and I have never tried any drug of any sort. About two weeks in to college life, I went to my first party ever.

Let me just say that having a close friend who loves parties is a little unnerving when you’ve never been to one, especially if you are currently getting ready to go to one. I had never been to a party. What was it like? Should I be scared? Should I be excited? Here are a handful of tips I learned from going to my first college party.


  1. What to wear? I know that you will want to be looking your absolute best for a party, especially if it is your first one. But what do you wear? Something cute obviously, or sexy if that’s what you want. But remember that you will be dancing and moving around. Don’t wear your tightest jeans or your lowest cut top, you won’t be comfortable enough to dance.

  2. Jacket or no jacket? Well this one depends on the location of the party and the weather. It was chilly the day I went, but I knew if I wore a coat I would have to take care to remember it and not lose it. The parties are always warm inside, so you won’t need it when you go in. Do you need one to walk there and back?

  3. What shoes? I figured sneakers would be the comfiest, but it certainly did not match my outfit. And, truth be told, I am super glad I didn’t wear my nice sneakers. The floor of every room was soaked with spilled beer and other beverages by the end of the night. I wore sandals (and someone spilled onto my bare toes), but I’m glad I did. Sandals, flip flops and other plastic or leather-like shoes are a great pick. Your feet are easier to clean than the fabric of your nice shoes, believe me! And no, surprisingly, my feet did not get stepped on at all during the party.

  4. What time should I get there? My group and I arrived ten minutes after the party started. There were barely any people there and it was slightly awkward. Wait at least an hour before showing up. That ensures time for there to be lots of other people there and already having fun.

  5. Who should I go with? The answer to this, if you are planning on drinking or anything else, is someone you know and someone trustworthy. You want to make sure that there is someone looking after you, who is sober, to make sure you are okay and make it home in one piece. Even if you are not planning on drinking, don’t go alone. Go with as many friends as you want, but at least have one other sober person to help you.

  6. What should I bring? Bring as little as possible. Remember that you will be holding onto everything for the entirety of the night. Bring your phone of course, and make sure that it is charged. Bring cash, but try to keep the bills reasonably small, no bigger than $10. Some parties have entrance fees, so plan ahead for that. And not all drinks are free either.

  7. How much should I drink? This is a very important question. Make sure to go in having, at least an estimate, on how much you can drink. A general rule of thumb is that it takes one hour for alcohol to go through your body. Your body can’t burn three cups of beer in an hour, so you will start to get drunk. The beer at parties are usually watered down a bit, but that doesn’t mean you can drink extra to make up for it. The smaller a person’s BMI is, the less it will take to get drunk. It helps to eat before you drink too. The alcohol enters your bloodstream at a slower rate. Just be aware of your body and how you feel while you drink. Don’t be afraid to stop at any time.

  8. What if I want to leave? This is a big one. One of the biggest things to be aware of at a party is that you want to be comfortable at all times. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, it might be a better idea to leave. But you might not want to admit that to your friends, especially having to shout it out over music with others around. Make up a code word or phrase that everyone in your group knows and can remember. Use that phrase when you want to leave. It will be less embarrassing and make it easier to admit in front of other people.

  9. Is there a way to know if it will get busted? If too many people are talking about it, you probably want to avoid it. This one is tricky. I thought the party I went to was well-known, but thankfully it did not get busted. Generally, I would say it is safe to assume that the hosts know what they’re doing when they throw parties. Not to mention, they would have more problems than you would if they got caught. But still be aware. Ask around and see if it is a safe party to go to or if maybe you should sit this one out.

  10. Relax and have fun! This is probably the most important of all to make sure that you are enjoying the party. I didn’t do this until the last 30 minutes, and I regret it. Loosen up. Don’t let yourself get pushed into the corner for the night, and don’t be afraid to dance with the people around you, even if you don’t know them. You don’t have to drink. Even if you’re a little skeptical, give it a shot. And if you aren’t having fun, start making your own fun!