You will grow and evolve throughout college and your taste buds are no exception. While you still have your old standbys (like the Backstreet Boys song that wore out your hit clip, and are now prominently featured on your ‘pregame’ playlists), finding new favorites is your current calling. Throughout college, your alcohol preferences will change almost as often as your boy du jour. Let’s take a look at your favorite paths to inebriation year by year.
You’re new to this whole college thing. The good news is that you haven’t had much chance to sully your good name, and your tolerance is enviably low. The bad news is that you’ll soon discover the joy of drunk-texting, sending your squeaky-clean reputation flying right out the window (of Pike’s sleeping porch). And more importantly, you still don’t really know how to drink. Your idea of a sick pregame involves you, your roommate, your besties from down the hall, and slightly muffled Lil’ Jon radio. You cross your fingers that your R.A. doesn’t knock on the door and write you up- or worse, interrupt your round-housing rotation. This is your first foray into the Burnett’s arena, and you LOVE it. The peach goes down sooo smoothly, you can’t believe it’s bottom shelf- you don’t even need a chaser! Since you only really pregame lightly or on special occasions, your other staples include whatever’s on the menu at your local frat house. Franzia? Check. Busch and Natty Light? Yep! Jungle Juice? Bring it on! You double fist like it’s your day job, since your blissful lack of hangovers and Lightening McQueen-speed metabolism make you immune to the fact that on an average night you’re imbibing enough sugar and carbohydrates to make Dudley Dursley nauseous.
Oh, okay, girl, I see you. Now that you’ve got one year of college under your belt, you’re pretty sure that Drake wrote “Fancy” about you. This is the year that Peach/Watermelon/Citrus Burnett’s becomes your JAM. You’d rather retake Bio 130 than step into a frat party sober at this point, so your pregame game really begins to flourish. Now that you’ve been on the party scene for awhile, you feel guilty about sneakily snagging beers from some rando’s mini fridge. You still heavily rely on Natty and Franzia, but your new obsession is vodka and juice. So sophisticated, I know. Vodka lemonades still taste a little too much like your high school’s parking lot, so you branch out. Vodka limeades are so much cooler. And don’t get me started on vodka crans. Why haven’t you been plucked for the ‘Hills’ reboot yet! Since hangovers have begun to rear their ugly heads on occasion, you decide that cutting back on sugary drinks is a must. In other words, your dad had better be okay with you buying wine in actual bottles when you have your girls nights. If you haven’t already, this is the year you will begin your life-long love affair with mimosas. Nothing says college game day better than a chug jug full of Cooks with a splash of Simply Orange! SO totally Blair W. of you.
Wtf, right? It seems like just yesterday that you were artfully hanging black and white snapshots of your high school besties in your dorm, and now you’re being invited to at least three 21 runs a week. In the past two years, you’ve drunk enough bottom shelf wine, beer, whiskey, and vodka to make even Scott Disick do a double take (I still love you guys, Skourtney!!!). A new era has dawned. The age of the bar crawl is upon you. Guys your age bring sixers of IPAs to the house parties that you now much prefer to the fraternity basement scene you used to be so obsessed with. Because most guys (or at least the ones who make you feel all heart-eye emoji) live out, you spend a lot less time getting sticky-footed at the frats in general. All of this, combined with the fact that you’re kind of over boxed wine, leads to your new mixed-drink craze. Your perfectly crafted going-out ensembles are not complete without a red solo filled to the brim with a Cosmo/Mojito/Sex on the Beach/any drink that you’ve ever heard of in your twenty-or-so years of watching movies. You feel sophisticated and hip holding a Blue Moon and talking to your friends about how your 300-level classes are so not as hard as you thought they were going to be. So what if over half of the drinks that you claim to love this year are concoctions that you learned about from googling ‘cool mixed drinks’ or watching endless hours of Gossip Girl? Junior year is a year of experimentation. While you’re on your way to being the best drinker you can be, you’ve still got a little ways to go before you can admit to yourself and your friends that you might not really like the old fashioned’s you sling back.
At this point, you’ve been around the block a time or two. You learned long ago that paying a little more for a fifth of Patron is worth skipping the hangover you’re blessed with when you choose José. You stifle a laugh when you see a younger guy offering up shots of Grey Goose to unassuming underclassmen. Who doesn’t know a guy who has refilled a top-shelf bottle with bottom-shelf booze to trick girls into thinking that they ball out. You’re a veteran of the frat scene, and you’ve just about had your fill of paint parties and jungle juice. For the most part, you know what you like and you have no shame in sticking to it. Since you’re in the home stretch, you frankly DGAF. You split your time between enjoying booze that won’t leave you bed-ridden, and hitting up whichever bar currently has the best drink deals. Taco Tuesday? Duh. Wine Wednesday? Been going since you could walk. You currently exist for one reason, and one reason only: to get drunk enough to forget that you’re graduating in a mere matter of months..