A Freshman’s Guide to College Parties

College is not only about academic development. College campuses offer huge opportunities for a fun social life as well. As a freshman, one of the most intriguing and intimidating aspects of this social life is often the subject of college parties. If you’re a new student heading to college, check out this guide to college parties for freshmen.

What can I expect at a party?

The range of parties is as varied as the people who hold them. Some parties have themes (like costume parties), and some simply involve a lot of smelly upperclassmen drinking beer in a dirty basement. At your average college party, you can expect there to be alcohol (though not necessarily at all parties), some sort of drinking game, and a fair amount of people who may or may not know each other.

Do students ever really get in trouble for parties?

Yes. In the dorm rooms, excessive noise or suspicious behavior can lead to an RA searching the room. If they discover that underage drinking is occurring, the consequences may be anything as minor as issuing warnings or as major as calling the police.

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If the party is off-campus, neighbors may contact the police if they suspect that underage drinking is going on, or if there is too much noise. Remember that if underage people are drinking at a party, you do not have to be underage yourself to get in trouble.

How can I be safe?

You can be safe by staying alerted and using common sense. Never drive to a party where you intend to drink unless you plan to stay overnight. Always stay with your friends and never leave your drink unattended. If you start to feel uncomfortable with the situation, or if things start to get rowdy and out of hand, make an unapologetic excuse and leave. Try to avoid being in private situations with those you do not know well, even if you consider them your friends. 90% of sexual assaults happen when one or more of the parties is under the influence of alcohol. Never drink with the intent of getting drunk.

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Should I go to parties as a freshman?

This decision is one that you will need to make yourself. Be aware that there are many other ways to have fun that doesn’t involve partying. And also realize that anytime there is alcohol at a party, there is a risk. However, if you are responsible and safe, it is possible to have fun at college parties as a freshman. Just remember that if there is alcohol being served to minors, you can get in trouble even if you haven’t been drinking and are not the one doing the serving.