Nightmare on Van Buren Street

*We do not condone underage drinking! If you’re planning on drinking please be safe and responsible. These stories are for entertainment purposes and tips to avoid these struggles only.

We all know what everyone looks forward to in college: going out to parties. When looking at schools that you will spend the “best years of your life” at, most kids ask the dumb question: “What are the parties like?” The thing is, once you finally get on campus, the parties are not what you expect.

Within the first month of school, I had a really good group of friends with common interests and the same urge to experience the party life. We dipped our toes in the different frat houses, no bars considering none of us were smart enough to realize that Oswego is a bar school, and we would need fake IDs to get in. Sure enough, we were those stupid freshmen that were stuck going to the frats and house parties which, as many of you know, start at 9 pm and only go until 11 pm so that every “smart” partier can get to the wild nights at the bars. Unfortunately, my friends and I only had that small gap of two hours to get buzzed. To everyone else, those houses were a pregame.

As scared little freshmen in their first semester, we repeatedly went to the same house on the corner of Van Buren Street. Everyone just referred to it as “Van Buren.” That’s where all of the freshmen went, so we got comfortable, and with it being our first ever college party, we thought it was super fun with the disco lights leaving cool designs on the orange painted walls as they rotated and the music blasting so loud you couldn’t hear what the person right next to you was saying.

One night in October, though, comfortable quickly shifted to uncomfortable. My friends and I put on our best party outfits, ready to go, mine an orange bodysuit and a black skirt with a denim jacket. We were pumped to go out after a long week consisting of exams and piles of homework. We boarded the D-Bus, our drunk bus, which took us to Van Buren, and we walked into the house which was packed as usual once we were let in by the famous tall “bodyguard” who went by the name “Glasses.” This was because he wore ski goggles on his head at every party.

Right from the start, nothing was working in our favor. My friend and I walked to the kitchen which was right in front of us as we walked into the side door. They were all out of drinks already. We had only been 30 minutes late. We asked if there would be more coming soon, and they told us, “Shortly.” Sure enough, we never saw the drinks. Next thing I knew, my friend and I were shimmying our way through what felt like 1,000 people packed like sardines against the sticky walls.

After about twenty minutes of pushing and shoving, we finally were able to reunite with our other friends. This is where shit really hit the fan. We were all dancing until, suddenly, my friend was screaming in our ears and tugging at our shirts in pain. We looked down to see her whole leg stuck in an open floor vent, the cover nowhere to be seen. We pulled her out and continued to dance. She didn’t want to stop. The next morning she woke up with a bruise the size of my head on her thigh and scrapes that spanned the whole length of her leg. Little did we know she had a wedding to attend the next weekend, so her whole family would be able to see her battle wounds.

An acquaintance I knew had something for us to drink, so we decided to just have a good time, drink, and dance the tough beginning of the night away. Time sped up until one of my friends bumped my cup, leading to a spill all over me and my friend next to me. Next thing we knew, the lights finally came on signaling that the party was over when in reality the cops had just shown up, kicking everyone out. Everyone was evacuating as soon as possible. One second I was with all of my friends, and the next I found myself drifting away from the pack to find myself socializing with people I recognized from my classes. Then, within seconds, I was alone in this potent smelling house. I did not recognize anyone, so what was I to do?

Buzzed and not thinking straight, I walked out to the road in hopes that they would be there. Nope! I called my roommate, one of my friends at the party, and she told me to get to McDonald’s because one of our other friends was drunk out of their minds. New to Oswego, I had no idea what direction to go in, so I just started walking. I turned around, stumbling, to ask the boy behind me where to go. Nicely, he told me he would walk me there. I knew it was close and that I could handle myself if he tried anything, so I allowed it, remaining on the phone with my roommate the whole time.

Finally, I got to the famous McDank’s to be reunited with my friends. We called a D-Bus for a ride back to campus, no answer. Again, no answer. Ugh. What felt like 30 minutes later, a D-Bus came whipping through the traffic light and picked us up. The bus was crowded, all the people heading out to the bars. My friends and I stood in the back where, when the bus came to an abrupt stop, I was thrown into a metal grate, leaving my knee scraped up and bruised. That would leave two of us wounded from the night’s adventure. Great! We got back safe, sat in my room, and laughed at the series of unfortunate events that the night had brought us. At that moment, I learned that one of my friends had actually been calling my name on the street when the police had arrived, but he was quickly told to “Shut up” by a police officer as he called out, “Emma!” We laughed harder than ever before.

We never brought ourselves around to going back to that house after that nightmare, and quite honestly, I can’t say that I hear much about it anymore. But, I don’t regret going because I never would have been able to laugh about it right now or have the crazy memories that a new coming freshman should have. So, thanks Van Buren for the nightmare that turned into memories and laughs that make my stomach hurt.