Confessions of a Former Party Girl: Meet Avery
Name: Avery James*
Year: 2nd year
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Favorite Netflix series: Orange is the New Black
Favorite restaurant in IV: Hanna Kitchen
Can you describe your first party experience at UCSB?
My first party at UCSB was actually my first party ever. I’d never partied in high school, so I didn’t really know what to expect. After my friends and I had gotten all dressed up, we arrived at a friend of a friend’s house in IV. The music was loud and there were lots of people. It was clear that some had already had too much to drink but everyone seemed to be having fun. It was mostly a good time.
Would you say the college parties lived up to the ones you’d always imagined?
Yes and no. There are definitely elements of parties that are fun, and I had a great time hanging out with my friends, but as a girl I definitely felt like I had to be on my toes. There are guys that kind of just leer at girls especially when they’re drunk so I wasn’t a huge fan of that. But my friends and I kept an eye out for each other so we made sure to stay safe. Overall I would say that the idea of college parties is definitely more exciting than the actual college parties.
What made you decide to start partying once coming to college?
Having spent so much time in high school literally buried in my textbooks, I was ready to try something new. I also realized that most of the girls on my floor freshman year would bond over talking about the latest party they’d gone to. I figured I would expand my comfort zone and see if it was something I was into.
At what point did you decide to stop going to parties?
Probably around the time that I realized I was going to parties for all the wrong reasons. In the beginning, it would be fun to be there with friends but after the first few parties it started to seem more like a chore. I didn’t like feeling squished in a crowded room, I didn’t like having to be on my toes all the time in a room full of strangers, and I didn’t like feeling out of control when I drank. The minute I stopped drinking at parties, the novelty kind of wore off. I was essentially just in a crowded house full of people I didn’t know with loud music playing. Staying out so late wasn’t helping either. I had missed a few too many of my early morning classes and my grades were starting to suffer. I realized my priorities had slipped and overall I just didn’t like the person I was becoming. Once I realized that I was over it, I started making excuses as to why I couldn’t go out but eventually my friends just stopped asking me. At first I worried about losing my place in my friend group but it turned out that I didn’t need to worry. My friends were still my friends, regardless of whether I partied or not.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to incoming freshman girls about partying?
My biggest advice would be that if you want to party, do so safely. My friends and I always had a slogan, « Go together, stay together, leave together » . As long as you stay safe, partying can be fun. And for the girls who don’t like to party, that’s okay too. Don’t try and turn yourself into someone you’re not. If partying is something you wanna try, give it a fair chance. We are in college after all. But if you find that it’s not for you, there are plenty of people who feel the same way and there are tons of other ways to have fun. I wish someone had told me that was I was a freshman.
*Names have been changed for confidentiality.