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When Enough is Too Much and You’re All Like “WTF?”

Last weekend was one of my very closest friend’s birthdays and, while out and about, I came to a certain realization.

The party scene here in Madison is insane.

When I applied here, I thought I knew how the social atmosphere was going to be. I have friends that attended Madison before I was even accepted and they were sure to share some insight into the frenzied fiesta that is a weekend in Madison. So, of course, I thought I would be ready for my first couple weekends here.

Um… Simply put, I wasn’t nearly prepared enough.

On my first night out, I was walked down the street and got my first glimpse of the atmosphere I was being tossed into. Belligerency was abundant as I gazed upon the masses screeching, laughing, and crying. Males chirping at girls in tight dresses, friends walking arm-in-arm (possibly to help one another walk straight), kids yelling into their phones with directions, cars whizzing past full of people with their own agendas, and noise, so much noise.


The energy was addictive and soon my own group was off to find our own adventure for the night. 
And there were many adventures to discover. 

In my short time here in Madison, I’ve witnessed the orgy that is a highlighter dance party, 3-story beer bongs, apartment stairwells covered in vomit (not my own, thank goodness), and an infinite amount of public make-out sessions. 

I’ve discovered who and who not to accept drinks from, felt the uncomfortable claustrophobia that sets in seconds after an elevator filled with 30 plus people closes, hugged complete strangers for absolutely no reason, and realized that dudes do NOT simply want to walk me back to my room at the end of a night “to be good guys”. I was even lucky enough to sit only three rows in front of a girl who puked in my early morning Friday math lecture. 

She sure had herself a fantabulous Thirsty Thursday. 

It seems to me that there is an incredible balancing act that must be calculated early on in a college career between the social aspects of Madison and…well…everything else. 

There is so much to do here and so many opportunities, and yet a huge portion of the population manages to commit at least two days of its week to binge drinking. 

I’m not complaining, because I would be a hypocrite, but I do think that some people get lost in the Madtown madness. The girl that puked in my math lecture, for instance, probably went a little harder than she could handle, and she ended up missing class and brutally embarrassing herself in the process. (Sorry to you, Math-Lecture-Girl, you’re being a great sport). 

I know I never want to put my party-life ahead of my education. I don’t want to put it ahead of relationships with my friends and family. I’ll consider putting it ahead of Grey’s Anatomy Night on my floor from time to time, but that’s what the balance is all about. 

Sometimes, I need to take a step back and get some perspective. What are my priorities? Should I really go to that frat if I plan on calling Grandma early tomorrow? Is it a wise decision to attempt that flabongo on my way in to Camp Randall? Knowing I have an exam tomorrow, should I really try to get into that penthouse party everyone was talking about? I wanted to run those 3 miles….but maybe a bottle of wine will work better in my favor…

My decisions don’t always end up being correct, but so far, I haven’t done anything insanely stupid or life altering. 

Everyone is going to have a “WTF just happened?” moment here and there, but I plan on limiting those moments. I want to have just enough fun here in Madison. I mean, there’s more than enough “fun” to go around, but what really separates the super fun boozer from the hot-mess loser is the girl who knows when to back off and say no to the mixed-drink. 

So, I’m working on that for myself. I’m trying to figure out what balance I need to be happy, both in my schoolwork and social life. I’m sure that it is going to be a Guess and Check system, but hopefully I won’t end up in a gutter or, even worse, on the 8 o’clock news. 

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Olivia is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with big aspirations in PR and advertising. With a love for writing, beauty and confidence, she’s making it through college one step at a time.
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