Throughout your college career, your boys change, your hair color changes, your tolerance changes, but one thing stays the same: you like to party. Even in this absolute, there is an evolution of sorts to the types of parties you find yourself attending. There’s a reason you don’t see a lot of freshmen and senior girls raging balls in the same place. Maybe it’s maturity, or maybe it’s a social hierarchy, but in either case, there are different kinds of social scenes that attract you each year.
Your first year of college is unlike anything else. You don’t know many people yet, and on any given night out, you’re down meet as many as possible. You tend to gravitate towards any parties…that you’ve heard of. That’s literally the only qualification you have. Sometimes “hearing” about it means your floormate’s big sister’s boyfriend’s cousin is hosting it, sometimes it means it’s a big advertised frat party, and sometimes it means you’re walking down the street, and some guys yell to you that ladies drink free, and if he’s cute, you go. At first you don’t have a full understanding of which fraternities are acceptable to party with, or the dichotomy between Greeks and geeds, so you go wherever the crowd of 20 you’re rolling up with takes you. Your perfect night consists of pregaming in your dorm without getting a knock on your door from your RA, and blacking out in a dirty basement, shoulder to shoulder with strangers, whom you’ll likely never see again. It’s not uncommon to find yourself sneaking into the kitchen to steal food, and falling victim to the ole “Do you live here?” routine, unaware that only the person who lives there actually asks that question, and there is a 100% chance they will respond with “So do I.” It doesn’t matter though, because you got a bunch of good pictures to post to Facebook so everyone back home knows that you’re having the MOST FUN EVER.
As your social circle widens, your acceptable party options narrow. You’re no longer comfortable just walking into a party, because that’s weird. You don’t need a direct invitation, but someone you’re going with had better know the people who reside at your destination. If you’re at a big party, and don’t immediately see some familiar faces, you soon decide you’re not having fun, and make moves. After all, you know, like, your whole sorority by this point, and some of the guys from the fraternity you did Greek Week with last year, so…you’re pretty much a celebrity. You’re selective about which frat houses you party at, because you now know that it doesn’t matter how much fun that bottom-tier’s foam party sounds, it’s still a bottom-tier, and you have no reason to be there. You’re lucky to know enough people by this point to have some sort of decent game plan every night, but you usually only have one or two viable options, and you’re not always pleased with the outcomes.
At this point, you are done with big house parties, entirely. You only go to frat houses for mixers (or sleepovers), as you’re done with the anonymity that comes with being in a dark basement, the smell, and not to mention the dumb, freshmen girls getting sloppy drunk, and making out with the boys who actually talk to you when you’re sober. You will only show up to an event if you’re going to know the majority of the people there, and if not, it’s not worth your time. You’re generally going to have several options, and you weigh them depending on what each clique in your pledge class, your friends from freshman year, and your roommates’ friends from freshman year have decided upon. Almost every weekend is another 21st birthday pregame, and pregames that turn into parties are kind of your grind right now. After the birthday girl, or guy heads off to the bars with the other of-age individuals, the rest of you under-ragers stay behind and keep it going. These are generally about 30-100 person parties, and they’re all people you’d actually choose to be around if you were sober. You probably inadvertently give outsiders attitude, but whatever. If you don’t know them, they don’t deserve to be there.
Once you experience the bars in all their glory, there’s no going back. The last of you has trickled into the age of legal alcohol consumption, so you realize there’s no other place to go, but the bars. This is the only place to guarantee that the guys are old enough for you to make out with, and the air of selectiveness is just your niche. You hardly travel to pregame, and usually stick to drinking with your roommates and neighbors before heading out rather than making an elaborate production. Unlike house parties, bars have a closing time, so you want to get out the door as fast as you can to maximize your alcohol intake. You only go to the Greek bars, and spend your nights having casual, drunken exchanges with every person you’ve ever talked to. You’re overwhelmed with excitement when running into every single person in your sorority and favorite fraternities, as if you had no idea they’d be there, even though your entire extended social circle goes to the same places every week. Tuesday is karaoke, Wednesday everyone’s favorite band plays, Thursday is beat the clock, Friday you get glitzed up at the clubby dance bar, Saturday you go to “the best bar on campus,” Sunday is the sports bar, and Monday, of course, you stay in, because even God had a day of rest. You end up developing “bar friendships” with certain people just because they have the same weekly bar routine as you do. It’s glorious, but there’s one drawback. With each passing month, as more and more juniors turn 21, you become increasingly perturbed by their existence. This isn’t their bar, this is your bar, this is your school, and this is your cue to start crying because you’re drunk and just remembered you’re graduating soon.