In college, you will find that there’s almost always a party going on, but not all parties are created equal. And considering how late you will be out, and how much time you will have to spend doing your makeup and picking exactly what to wear, you should only pick the ones that are worth your time. When party hopping, here are some guidelines to consider when making your decision:
1. Who will be there?
Sometimes parties are aimed at just getting freshmen involved in campus events, and you will find that it might take about 20 minutes before you can get into a frat house to actually start enjoying the party. If you are an upperclassman and don’t want to deal with this, don’t go to that party. Also, if you don’t want to run into your ex and its his fraternity that’s hosting, don’t go—unless, of course, you’re going to bring your new eye candy with you to make him jealous.
2. Who is hosting it?
Who hosts the party influences a lot of factors. If it’s a club, there is likely to be food and music, and the location may be somewhere that doesn’t smell like body odor and old beer. If it’s a sorority hosting, they may require that you pay to get in, or exclude you altogether unless you’re on their list. Yes, there will be a list. And if it’s a mixer, don’t bother going unless you’re part of the mixer; you won’t be allowed, even if you’ve heard about it.
3. Do I have to pay to get in?
If you have to pay, it better be a damn good party where they are serving good alcohol and the people attending are all the cool kids. Or if it’s to support a charity or fundraiser, and it’s only like $2, then it might be worth it depending on the venue. Some parties will take place downtown where the bar has been rented out for the night or at a museum for a dance or something. This is fine to pay for.
4. Is this an annual thing?
If it’s a tradition, like a beach themed party that one of our fraternities threw each year, then there’s likely to already be word out about whether or not the party is fun. So try to talk to others and see what they have to say about a party before going, and then make your decision based on that. But ask specific questions. Don’t just take someone’s word that it was a ‘crazy party’. That means nothing to you. Were there hot guys? How long did it last? Was it crowded? Was the music good? Were there fights? Questions like that combined with your idea of a good time will help you decide for yourself.
5. What’s going to be my transportation situation?
If you’re going to have to take a taxi, try to share the cost with a few friends. If you need to cross a bridge at night (like I sometimes had to), it’s probably not worth it since you’re putting yourself in danger. If you only have to walk a few minutes to get to the party, then great. Sometimes even a walk that requires you to go all the way across campus may mean weighing the pros and cons of a party; heels hurt after you’re drunk, and you don’t want to be doing the walk of shame for 20 minutes the morning after, as you’re passing many dorm buildings, a library, dining hall, and roads where many people have the opportunity to see you—including professors or parents.
But most importantly, is something better going on that night? Because if there are multiple parties going on at the same time (which happens often), and you can only make one due to where they are located or something, then you need to prioritize quickly!
Just remember, though, that college isn’t all about parties. Have your fun, but if everyone is going to a party, and you feel like staying in and watching TV or talking on the phone with a friend from back home, then do it. Following the crowd is for people with no sense of self that want to gain an identity by letting others give them one. Take control of your own life and make your own decisions.