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The First-Semester Freshman’s Frat Party Do’s and Don’ts

First semester freshman year, my roommate/partner-in-crime and I had somewhat of a Friday and Saturday night routine: we’d spend hours applying false eyelashes, trying on outfits, and curling our hair before walking up and down Comstock Avenue in search of a frat party.  We were successful more often than not, and now — many Fraturdays later — we decided to reflect back on what we wish we knew about going to frat parties as freshmen.  Here’s our list:

DON’T wear anything you care about.

Don’t wear your “favorite” anything.  Don’t wear your great-grandmother’s engagement ring that’s a family heirloom.  Don’t wear the pair of $300 jeans you splurged on that make your butt look awesome.  Don’t wear heels.  Don’t wear heels.  Frat parties are messy, sweaty and completely unforgiving when it comes to nice clothing.  You’ll have a lot more fun if you’re comfortable (don’t wear heels) and not stressing about ruining your expensive outfit.

DO invest in a “going out” wardrobe.

I use the term ‘invest’ loosely here.  You’re going to need a comfy pair of shoes you don’t care about absolutely ruining beyond repair and a sort-of warm jacket that will serve as your ‘fracket’, because who wants to lug their Canada Goose around all winter?  These items should be durable, but not so pricey that you’d be upset if something happened to them.  My all-time favorite pair of frat shoes are the Adidas Neo Baseline Sneakers.  They are so comfortable, on-trend and easy to clean.  As for a good fracket, you can’t go wrong with a cheap oversized bomber jacket or a hand-me-down sweatshirt from your ex (at least this way the vomit that inevitably gets on it will be symbolic).


DON’T expect top-shelf beverages.

Are you a fan of Natty Light?  What about Keystone Light?  No?  Learn to be or BYOB, because cheap warm beer is a frat staple.  If you’re lucky enough to end up at a party where there’s juice, grab some quick — it disappears in minutes.

DO know your frats.

Always know which house you’re at.  Syracuse is a relatively big school with more chapters than most, so it’s understandable to not know which is which at first, but try to learn them as quickly as possible.  It’s a simple way to act like you have your shit together.

DON’T get too drunk.

It can be easy to get carried away when experiencing your first real taste of adult freedom, but remember that sloppy isn’t cute.  Not only is it dangerous, it also puts you at risk of getting in trouble with DPS.  Everybody has their nights where they have a little too much to drink, but there’s a big difference between being happily tipsy and being unable to stand up or walk.  In the same vein, always keep an eye on your drink and never accept a random drink.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

DO have fun!
It’s the only first semester of college you’re ever going to have; embrace it!  Dance with your friends on an elevated surface, scream the lyrics to “Mr. Brightside”, and don’t be afraid of getting a little sweaty!  You can always wash spilled beer out of your hair the next day, and you’ll regret not making the most of a party because you were too busy checking your phone or fixing your makeup.

Freshmen, welcome to Syracuse!  I hope these tips will help navigating the frat scene here a little easier.  And one last piece of advice regarding frats…DON’T FORGET TO BRING TOILET PAPER!


Isabel Beck is a sophomore at Syracuse University. She is majoring in Writing and Rhetoric and hopes to one day work with the likes of Grace Coddington and Anna Wintour at Vogue.  She shamelessly keeps up with the Kardashians and is a self-diagnosed shopaholic.  To learn more about Isabel, you can check out her blog or follow her on Instagram @isabel_beck
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