Ah, the frat party. That coming of age experience most college students go through. Some look forward to it, making the plunge the first week of freshman year. Others, like myself, are so petrified by the idea that they hold out until their sophomore year to pop their frat party cherry.
A friend told me recently that you have to think about it as ripping off a band aid – it’s better to do it quick and fast and get it over with it than to delay it and prolong the pain. So, last week, I finally did it. I ripped off that bloody, scabby band aid and am alive to tell the tale. Here I’ll regale my frat party experience and what I took away from it.
1. Make sure you have a solid group of friends that you trust to go with. I definitely advise against going with the girls on your freshman dorm floor that you’ve known for about 8 minutes. That was one good thing in waiting a while – I was able to figure out which friends I would feel totally safe and comfortable going with.
2. Go with a friend who has an “in”. You don’t want to be those girls waiting outside in the cold while some greasy haired guy checks the list and asks, “who do you know here?” One of the girls I went with’s boyfriend was a brother, so not only did we not have to wait in line, but he got some of his other brothers to give us a ride there and back (because there is absolutely nothing worse than having to walk all the way to a house in the middle of the woods at night.)
3. DO NOT DRINK THE JUNGLE JUICE. No further explanation needed.
4. Make sure one of you is at least a little bit sober. As the Mom friend, I usually assume this role. I didn’t mind at all, especially it being my first party, because I’m a control freak and like to make sure everything is taken care of. If this isn’t you, however, make sure one of your friends doesn’t mind, and switch off every now and again so one friend isn’t always the “responsible” one.
4. Go to the nice guy frats! We went to Alpha Sig, also known as the “nice guy” frat at UConn, and it seriously made the whole experience so much better. They’re super responsible, dedicated to making sure girls feel safe, and constantly checking up on you. Plus, the nice guys are usually cuter, too, which is always a plus.
5. Don’t hit on the guy who has a girlfriend. Trust me, just don’t. Save yourself the pain.
6. Have a hook-up plan in place. If you or one of your friends is lucky enough to be flirting with a guy (or gal!), have a guideline of how you let your friends know. There’s nothing worse than not being able to find your friend and worrying all night. Whether it’s a codeword, a quick text, or a very knowing look, make sure your friends know what’s going down and if they should wait for you or not.
7. Wear clothes that you won’t be dying of heat in. In the fall you have a bit of freedom. Maybe it’s warm out and you can wear a skirt and a tank. Alternatively, maybe it’s a little bit chilly so a pair of ripped jeans and a t-shirt will do. However, in the winter, make sure you’re not showing up in a skin tight mini dress and fur coat because, trust me, that coat will most definitely get stolen or lost. I suggest a pair of jeans and t-shirt under a flannel or sweatshirt, that way you can wear the flannel there and then wrap it around your waist later.
8. DO NOT WEAR NICE SHOES. There’s nothing worse than stale beer ruining your Sam Edelman heels. Go with converse, and old pair of sneaks, or something else that you won’t mind getting a little roughed up.
9. Be careful. I know, I know, I sound like your dad (and my dad, too) but it really is important. With the overwhelming amount of stories that involve alcohol poisoning, sexual assault, or other scary experiences that come out of college campuses every day, it’s important to remain level headed. Don’t leave your drink unattended, use the buddy system, watch your drinking, etc. Always better safe than sorry.
10. Have fun! College is an awesome time to go out and experience new things, even if they are a little bit scary. If you’re like me and you stress and worry about every little thing, going out with some friends and dancing the night away every once and awhile is a great way to remind yourself that you’re still young and alive, and all those other worries can wait until Sunday evening.
Happy partying, collegiettes!