Getting drunk is a college tradition. Much like football or skipping class during syllabus week, it’s a right of passage for most 18-23 collegiates. But while you would get “text your ex forty-five times” drunk every year, each grade was a little different. Below are the ways each college year drunk are different. Read, prepare, and cherish where you’re at. It’s all downhill from here. JK. Maybe.
The sheer fact that you can go wherever you want, with whomever you want, and stay out however late you want is a vital to the Freshman Drunk. You have no worries. No cares. You are invincible, and any alcohol is good alcohol in your book. Being able to get drunk of off something other than the occasional glass of table wine you stole from your parents is a gift it itself.
You’re the first to say yes to a Burnett’s-Crystal Light concoction. The first to toss back that tequila shot. You’re the girl dancing on the bar, making out with the random (or the best friend, both works in this situation), and getting shambly every night of the week. Gross college bars don’t seem gross quite yet, and that ugly senior who’s hitting on you seems charming, instead of slimy. Enjoy that shit, because soon your drink preferences, and standards get higher.
Sophomore year drunk, is like Freshman Drunk, except a little smarter. You know which bars are good, and which ones suck. You have “a drink” and you tend to stick to it. You’ve outgrown the “sex on the beaches” and have moved on to something more sophisticated, like “amaretto sours” or vodka Redbulls. You have a fake, and if you don’t, you have a connection. You don’t pay for most of your drinks anymore, but you’ve learned how to handle them. You understand that bottom shelf is horrible, but you’re too poor to care.
You still go out every night of the week, but now you know how to survive that hangover just a little bit better. And by survive, I mean lay in bed and skip classes because you’re still taking dumb gen-eds, but at least now you have friends you can steal the notes from. Which is good because this is your year. You’re not the youngest here, but you have a long way to go before the real world. So you go TOFTB, and you smoke that weed. Because being an “adult” is still a long way away. Sophomore year might just be the trashiest year, and for that, we can’t help but love it.
Junior year might just be the sweetest spot for College Drunk. You’re finally 21. You’ve stopped consuming shitty drinks and switched over to vodka tonics. You know enough people and fraternities that there’s a party going on every night. But you’re not yet old enough where hanging out at a frat house or going to a college bar is depressing. You literally never pay for drinks because you either have a boyfriend, know the bartender, or make a pledge buy them for you. You’re finally able to go to the nice bars downtown, and can usually get through a night without doing a body shot or making out with your pledge sister. You don’t really throw up any more, and you have your hangover figured out down to a science (pizza, water, and two ibuprofen before bed. Water, brunch, two more ibuprofen in the morning).
While you’re a little classier, you’ve mastered the unclassy acts of keg stands, beer pong, flip cup, and shotgunning. You have a whole list of guys to text at 2 a.m., and while your standards are higher, it’s totally cool to lower them whenever you’re feeling rowdy. Junior year is the perfect balance between young and old, classy and trashy. Cherish it. It wont last forever.
Ah Senior Drunk. The completion of the circle. Senior Drunk is very similar to Freshman Drunk. You’ll go out as much as possible. You make out with anyone and go home with everyone. You’ll drink any shot and dance on any surface because this. is. it. You feel too old to go to shitty college bars, but you’ll do it for old times sake. Once you’re there you’ll instantly regret it because the people look like infants, there are too many underaged bodies to even move, and you can’t even imagine wearing stilettos to a bar called ‘The Library.’
Still, you order a vodka soda, snag a bar stool, and pound them back until you’re buzzed enough to humor the 19-year-old boy who keeps buying you drinks. But while you’re busy living it up like a freshman, thoughts of graduation, moving away, finding a job, and not having a ring on your finger slowly creep into your brain. This is why Senior Drunk results in public crying more than any of the other drunks combined. Still, you go out with a bang, and put your liver though it’s paces because you know that after this you can’t get drunk during the week, take shots like they’re water, and get away with public crying.
You still get drunk during the week. You can still take shots like they’re water. And as for getting away with public crying? You realize it was always embarrassing, but for some reason you haven’t quite outgrown it. Once you walk across that stage, and through the door of your first job, a whole new world opens up. Sure, you don’t hit up college bars that often (and when you do, you feel like the mom in the corner saying, “can you believe what she’s wearing? I bet she’s so cold in this weather!”), and you’d sooner die than go to a frat party.
But the biggest difference between then and now? Knowing your alcohol preference, being able to drink with all family members, and having the money and knowledge to order wine at dinner (and actually know what you’re talking about). Sure, the college days are over. But they were just training for the main event: being able to get drunk on a Tuesday, and still show up to work at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. And they say college doesn’t teach us anything.
Cheers to the best four years. Thanks for preparing our hearts, and our livers for what’s to come. Binge drinking on holidays and nursing hangovers at our 9-5..