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College Advice

Your First College Party

DormEssentials June 23, 2018

Okay. So you’ve moved in (or at least in the process of unpacking your boxes and things). You’ve met your dorm mates. You’ve watched the sun set as you reflected on all of your life experiences leading you up to this point. And now it’s getting dark out. But, instead of that meaning dinner time with the family and a book besides the lit mantle place, it means raucous—it’s time to for your first college party.

Move at your own pace out of your comfort zone

Your university experience will largely revolve around meeting new people and trying new things, and partying (the right way) is a great means to encourage and to embrace both. Start by talking to your dorm mates. Some are more reserved than others. Hype it up and get each other excited. If you’ve already heard about events for the night or have been invited places, great. If not, grab a few of your dorm mates and explore around the campus and the student housing at night. There are sure to be others in your situation, and, one of the many benefits of being at the university, finding parties occurs organically, like a pack of wildebeests gathering around a watering hole.

So you’ve met some people on the way, and you’re now encroaching upon a gathering. If you’re friendly and open-minded, most places will not take issue with you joining in and will probably encourage you to take part. For smaller house parties, the setting might be more intimate. Maybe bring something for the hosts or the house. This might be your pre-game, so don’t be quick to make judgement. Just be cool. Talk with some people and make some friends. It doesn’t have to be a pre-professional society meeting, but you also don’t need to treat it like a frat house hazing.

Lookout for each other

This means don’t get trashed and always be on the lookout for your buddies. A critical component to a positive first party experience will be staying together, at least until you all are comfortable with your surroundings. Anxiety and insecurities can flare under alcohol and new situations, so make sure to stay surrounded with familiar faces and to moderate consumption. It is much better to spend your first few nights getting to know the party scene and making friends who share your engagement with it than to be the freshmen who are in the hospital or the drunk tank the first night. The reputation of partying hard is built over time and with discipline, and, even though you might not realize on your first night, burnouts and naïve drinkers are easy to spot.

Don’t drink too much

If you’re not familiar with drinking, take it easy and let the people you’re around you know. It is better to recognize people who care for you early—think of these people as your saints. These are the people you want to spend more time with and to identify with as friends, those who will look out for you. They are the ones you have come to college to meet, and they are the ones that will enrich your life, partying and beyond. There will also be kids who will respond to your honesty and openness with condescension, likely a result of their own insecurities. These are the people that will encourage you to drink more than you are comfortable with because they think it will be enjoyable for them to see you plastered and confused.

Recognize and separate your saints from those you should avoid early. There is no need to put on an image when attending you first party. If there is one thing you have to bank on at college, it is that there will be an abundance of parties to come. Take it easy, and be cognizant of your surroundings. Stick beside people you’ve met, and become familiar with the party scene at your university together. Meet people along the way, try new things together in a safe way, and enjoy every moment of it. And who knows, in no time you might by throwing a college part of your own.

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