What to Expect at College Parties

Many incoming college freshmen have questions about the college party scene and would like to know if it’s as crazy as it’s rumored to be. The following lists will attempt to give you a general picture of what college parties are like.

Things You’ll See:


Yes, a lot of drinking can go on at college parties. This is certainly not always the case, however. There are many parties where there is very little or no alcohol served. And the majority of people stay within their limits and maintain control of themselves.


Whether it’s board games, card games, darts, pool, video games, foosball, or something else, a lot of people like to play games at parties. This is a great social opportunity, as you can get to know people that you may not have talked to otherwise (if you can get a cute guy or girl to play on your team, you’ve now created a great reason to introduce yourself and get to know each other—take advantage!).


The combination of loud music, open space, and alcohol often results in dancing. While there are very few actual “dance parties,” many people like to dance whenever they get the chance. Either get in and show your stuff or sit back and relax—there’s no pressure.

A lot of people

While there won’t be any busting down of walls, you may find that some parties can get awfully crowded rather quickly. Especially parties in houses, where there are fewer noise restrictions than in dorms or apartments.

Things You Won’t See:

Animal House-like antics

Some parties get pretty crazy, but National Lampoon took it to the extreme. You may see a few toga parties, though!


Let’s be honest—many people wonder about college students doing a lot of drugs. And yes, some do. But the vast majority of people (and parties) are drug-free. This largely depends on your group of friends; but like dancing, there is no pressure to be part of this scene.

Girls Gone Wild

If you’re hoping that you’ll be seeing a bunch of naked people running around and hooking up with each other in hot tubs, you’ll be disappointed. The most that you’ll probably see is a couple making out in a corner. And that usually doesn’t last long, because they quickly realize that everyone’s watching them . . . and that’s just weird!

Really, college parties are like any other parties. A bunch of people get together to relax and socialize. There’s no need to be stressed out about fitting in at parties or being the only one that’s not drinking. Just go out and have fun!