A huge aspect of college for many students is partying. Since move-in day, I know many students who have partied nearly every night. Those students may drink their weight in alcohol, and then stumble back to their dorms and immediately fall asleep. I, on the other hand, have yet to go to a college party and drink alcohol. I’ve heard the rumors: frat guys are jerks and they spike the punch. If I ever was to stumble back to my dorm and immediately fall asleep, it’d be after eating my weight in tacos from the dining hall.
Despite having never been to a real college party, I had an opportunity to go to a “dry party” hosted by a religious fraternity on campus. It had a “paint war” theme, and my friends and I decided to go. We scavenged our local Plato’s Closet for cute white clothes that could be destroyed by paint, and we spent quite a bit of time getting ready together in my dorm. I felt good. I felt cool that I was going to a party that a bunch of other students would also be going to. My mission for the night was to meet new boys and maybe find a future love interest.
All that changed once I got there.
The party was practically set up in the woods. We arrived before the official start time, and the land that was reserved for the party was already getting full. The main dance floor was closed off for the time being, but once the doors opened, my friends and I rushed in so we could get a good spot up front by the music table. However, every other student had the same goal in mind. By the time we found our dancing spot for the night, there were so many people around that I had no room to move. I’m only 4’9”, and everyone else around me was much taller.
I couldn’t see anything. The worst part was when the beat dropped and everyone began jumping and fist bumping—it turned into a rave. I was pushed around, my cute braided bun was getting messed up, and my small feet were getting stepped on. Even if I wanted to participate, I had no room to do so. I usually like having my own personal space, but I never considered myself claustrophobic. Either way, I began to freak out. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and I began to cry and breathe heavily—it was my first panic attack. Because of the heavy population and minimal lighting, my distressed face was almost impossible to see. But one of my best friends who I came with luckily saw me, and moved everyone aside and got me out of the crowd.
The rest of the night was practically ruined. My mood wouldn’t get any better, and I felt even worse that I made my friend leave the crowd to make sure I was okay. My makeup was ruined because of my freak-out, so I wasn’t confident enough to talk to any boys. Eventually the rest of my friends decided to leave as well, so we went back to our dorms and ended the night.
The party made me realize that just because I’m in college, it doesn’t mean I’m expected to party all the time, or even at all. My mind may want to party, but my body disagrees. College parties can be dangerous and distracting, but if people choose to attend them, so be it. They aren’t for everyone. I’d just rather stay in my dorm with a few close friends and watch all four Shrek movies in a row.