1. AMS BBQ
The AMS BBQ is the perfect way to kick off the school year. If you’re like me, sometimes it can be difficult to muster up anything like enthusiasm at the start of the year after the sunshine and freedom of summer. Thankfully, the AMS BBQ reminds you why you’re lucky to go to UBC, and why you should look forward to the upcoming year. No matter what the lineup is, buy your ticket – chances are you won’t even be listening to the music anyways! Nothing is more fun than running around with your new friends and roommates and running into old friends at the barbecue and concert. The 19+ side is definitely more fun and active, so if you didn’t enjoy your first year experience, don’t totally give it up!
Bonus: It’s still warm and dry in September.
Brownie Points: If you can make it into the front and into a Party Calendar picture.
2. First Night Toga Party
If you’re in first year, this is definitely a fun and interesting way to kick off your university experience. Frat parties may be disgusting, but they are an undoubtedly North American cultural experience. Go to at least one frat party, either because it’s a fun way to spend the evening, or so that you can have an informed opinion when frat parties come up in conversation, as they often do in first year. The toga party on the first night is definitely one of the biggest and best frat parties and a memorable first night at university. Just don’t rely on your brand new friends you made moving in to take care of you, and try not to make too many bad decisions; you want to start your first year on a fun, yet healthy and safe note.
Bonus: It’s totally free!
Brownie Points: If you wear a toga! It’s still warm in September and it really isn’t that hard to make one.
3. A Disgusting First Year Rez Party
The Totem and Vanier LODOC Mathletes versus Athletes dance is a classic. Photo credits here
So you might look at this title and say to yourself, “But Gretta, why would I go to a party you just described as being disgusting?” That is a valid question. However, I think a little bit of nastiness and weirdness never really hurt anyone, and always gives you great fodder for awesome stories. Residence parties are usually held in the basements or “ballrooms” of the commonsblocks and are sober events, so everyone just predrinks (excessively) in their units and stumbles over to the commonsblock. Basically, get ready for two or three hours of first years drunkenly slamming into each other to the beats some amateur DJ is attempting to “spin”. Everyone comes out of these dances with great stories. And when I say great, I mean potentially horrifying, but definitely entertaining.
Bonus: They’re super cheap and convenient for first years, and they are rites of passage into the complete UBC experience.
Oh Pit Pub! How we (sometimes) occasionally love you, you aptly named establishment! Everyone should attend at least one Pit Night. Every Wednesday night, students get in for free and can dance the night away with their fellow students. The Pit really wasn’t doing well last term but this term it definitely made a comeback, and students returned to show their love. The Pit is amazingly convenient for anyone who lives on campus, and it is definitely within the student budget with three dollar “Thunderbird Lager” and no cover charged. Yes, maybe the Pit can be a little bit gross, maybe the floor gets sticky from time to time and guys get pushy and the DJs are only okay, but I really don’t know anywhere else in Vancouver where I can dance, play bubble hockey, pool, and spend a grand total of twelve dollars on a whole night out. As funky as it is, it’s hard not to have a little soft spot in your heart for the Pit.
Bonus: On off nights, you can head to the Pit to watch hockey games and eat sinfully cheap wings.
Brownie Points: If you know someone who goes to Pit Night religiously, like literally every Wednesday.
5. UBC Ski and Board Club Elections
These parties have earned their UBC infamy many, many times over, as one would expect from a club that advertises itself with the simple yet effective slogan: BOOZE, SEX, SNOW. If you go to an elections party, you will see things you will never forget, even if you wish you could. Don’t go to a Ski and Board Party if you can’t handle nudity, crudity, and watching people ingest massive amounts of alcohol as fast they can and then possibly chasing that with live goldfish. The club does a lot more than party (like occasionally ski and board), but if you’re looking for a crazy experience, then their elections party is for you. It’s always off-campus in a random backyard, so be prepared to start drinking at 6 in the evening and have the party busted by the cops around 9 or 10.
Bonus: No chance of being written up by RA’s, and it’s free.
Brownie Points: If you don’t flash your boobs. People take pictures at these parties and you don’t want anything resurfacing online while you’re applying for your first real job…
6. UBC Block Party
Is there any better way to celebrate the end of the year than enjoying live music with all of your friends and fellow students? I like to think there really isn’t. Some years, it rains for the entire day and once you’re in the venue you’re in, there is no reentry, so plan your outfit and pre-drinking times well. That being said, Block Party is really the last time you can party with all of your friends before finals set in and everyone has a different, and extremely stressful schedule for the upcoming month. So take advantage of it! It really doesn’t matter if you don’t know who’s playing, it’s raining, and you’re exhausted from the five different papers you just handed in – just go, and you won’t regret it!
Bonus: The entire event is 19+.
Brownie Points: If you are able to climb the fence and make it in without getting pulled back out by security.
7. UBC Undie Run
Every year during finals, hundreds of people run around the UBC campus in their undies, shocking, delighting, and entertaining everyone they encounter. We all need a release from the stress and tension of finals, so why not let some of that anxiety go by running around in your underwear rather than consuming massive amounts of McDonald’s or chewing through pencils and crying alone in your room? Do it! You’ll regret it if you haven’t by the time you graduate.
Bonus: The run ends in a pool party!
Brownie Points: If you make it till the end. It’s cold and tiring, and only the strong or drunk will survive.