Rule #1: Don’t be that girl on the floor in the corner.
Seriously though. Don’t. It’s not cute, by any standards, and there are easier and better ways to enjoy your night at Pitt’s frat row or the off-campus frats. After reading this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to have an awesome night with your girlfriends instead of ending up sitting on the Chevron steps crying.
You already know Rule #1, so let’s move right on.
Rule #2: Take off your Tower A Orientation T-shirt before leaving your building for the night. That probably sounds simple to most of you, but you’d be surprised at how many forget to change. And the death glares that you are sure to receive simply aren’t worth what you’ll save on laundry. If you feel like rocking it, hey, more power to you then.
Rule #3: Go with the intention of spending the night dancing with your girlfriends, not with your tongue in the mouth of the first boy who approaches you. Get to that dance floor with your new-found friends and party the night and early morning away whether there’s a boy attached to your rear end or not. After all, freshmen year is about making those new-found girlfriends into your best and forever friends and creating crazy memories with them, not about meeting your soulmate. And besides, that frat boy with his hands in all the wrong places is likely never going to become your husband. The last time you will likely ever see him is when he is pushing you up against the nearest bar or wall. Frats are not the place to meet your next boyfriend. Do that in a cafe. Maybe you’ll get lucky and Train will be there.
Rule #4: Know whether you are at Phi Kappa Theta or Pi Kappa Phi, or one of the other twenty-one Pitt fraternities. There are a lot of them, and their names can sound awfully similar. Andrew McLaughlin, president of Phi Kappa Theta, says that it really gets to him when freshmen confuse his fraternity for one that it isn’t. “It bothers me because each house is associated with different things and by calling me the wrong name you’re associating me with the wrong stuff.” Frats have reputations, and mixing one up for another while talking to a brother could stir up animosity that you do NOT want to be involved in.
Rule #5: Go to frats where you know the brothers. I definitely recommend visiting each frat at least once, just to explore your options and decide which vibe you like the best. But you will inevitably become friends with brothers in one particular frat, whether it be via your floor, your classes, or a chance meeting in the elevator. Take advantage of that friendship, and go to that house more often. Frat parties become much more enjoyable when you have privileged access to the cleaner bathroom, VP status in the Natty line, and a place to put your purse and coat. And as a plus, brothers calling you to the front of the line turns you into the badass you always wished you were and makes other people more jealous than you might think.
Rule #6: Dress for the weather. Pittsburgh is known for nor’easters on Halloween and balmy breezes in February. Check weather.com before you leave and dress accordingly. Don’t trick yourself into thinking you’ll survive thirty-degree weather in that sequin tank top, or that you’ll make it up the Pete steps in those stilettos. If you don’t cover up in the colder weather, you absolutely will not have fun. But covering up doesn’t mean dressing like a grandma or dying of a heat stroke once you get inside! Dress in layers and ask if there’s a coat rack; there usually is one, but it absolutely won’t be advertised.
Rule # 7: BE SAFE! And no, we don’t mean that something bad will happen to you if you go up those trecherous blue steps (besides having to pop a squat in a less than clean bathroom), but it’s always good to know exactly what’s happening around you. If you plan on hooking up with a brother or even just dancing on top of the beer stained coffee table, at least tell a friend where you are so they don’t think you got swallowed whole by that disgusting pile of laundry. And make sure to have a condom or be clear with the bros about what’s not okay to do behind closed doors.
These rules combine to form not a foolproof plan of attack against a horrible night out, but a pretty trusty one. Follow them and your freshmen year party scene will be filled with unerasable memories of laughing with friends instead of crying because that boy whose name you don’t know who you thought was so into you is now grinding with a nearby bitty. Happy fratting!