It’s safe to say that our campus has a party culture deeply entwined in drinking. And yeah, they tell us during Wildcat Welcome that not as many students drink as it would seem, but all the same we know it’s just a thing. Though it may seem like you have to drink to fit into the, rowdy (insert laugh here) Northwestern nightlife, the fact of the matter remains that you have every right to abstain, and most people will respect that wish, and respect you for it. Knowing that to be true, here are a few tips to help you feel more comfortable whilst everybody else makes a fool of themselves.
Photo by Stephanie Choi, USC
1. Get dressed up and go all out
Just because you aren’t partaking in the more elicit activities of the night doesn’t mean you can’t do anything and everything else! Don’t feel like a wallflower because you aren’t doing exactly what everyone else is. You’re still at the party, and you’re still hot! Enjoy them both!
2. Drink something! You know, just don’t drink anything
Nobody will judge you for not drinking, but it is definitely tricky when a drunk person tries to encourage you to drink with them. Their reasoning skills aren’t quite at your astute level at that point and it can get pretty bothersome to try to explain anything. My best suggestion: still drink something at the party. Not only will you keep hydrated in the toasty party environment, but you will blend in with the masses of partiers.
3. Appreciate the free atmosphere
You own that night. Wear what you want. Say what you want. Do what you want. Heck, you may very well be the only person to remember what happens. While I don’t suggest you do something ridiculous or out of character, there’s no reason you can’t voluntarily release your inhibitions a bit as everybody else’s are dehydrated from them by C2H5OH, aka ethanol.
4. Don’t let yourself babysit
The instinct to watch over others when they are compromised is relatively natural, but just because you don’t drink like them doesn’t mean you have to be stuck making sure they don’t break their cell phone or end up hugging a toilet. By no means am I advocating ignoring your friends as they wander out into the night alone, but I am saying that it is okay not to watch them take every shot and count their drinks for them. They are just as much responsible for themselves as you are responsible for making the night fun for yourself. So, yes, you should all have a sense of responsibility for one another, but also to yourselves to enjoy your night.
5. Just have fun!
When you go out, the point is to enjoy yourself away from the pressures of school and work and responsibilities in general, not to get drunk. You don’t have to drink to enjoy yourself, last I checked, so don’t worry about it! Be your charming self and you will still be the life of the party, just with fewer things to regret the next morning!