College: Partytopia for All?

Photo posted by @le_club_400 on Instagram

College is met with the promise of college parties, drunken nights, and trips to the local bar. It’s almost a given that starting from freshman year and beyond your 21st birthday, your weekends should be dedicated to partying. But what if you’re just not the party type? Is that something you should be ashamed of? If you don’t go out, are you missing out on the prime college years that you’ll never get back?

The College Party Scene Vs. Reality
Photo posted by @champspennstate on Instagram

It’s no secret that Penn State is a party school. More realistically, every college is a party school. It’s, most likely, your first time alone, away from your parents. It’s your chance to experience everything without fear of judgment, or someone telling you what’s right and wrong.

So of course, once parents pack up their cars and head back home, all hell breaks loose in the freshman dorms. And what about rules you ask? To freshmen, it instantly becomes a game of how to get around the rules: where to store your alcohol so the RA won’t see, how to dress to get into a frat party, or lying about your age to get into a bar. Everyone is desperate and willing to do questionable things to get that college experience.

As for frat parties. most students are desperate to get let in, but once you are, you realize that all you’ve really been missing is an extra show of male dominance and petty attempts from guys to boost their own egos by rejecting girls from parties.

The alcohol? The cheapest they could find. And the men who try to pick up a girl? There’s no greater way to feel disrespected. Frat parties are filled with packed, sweaty mobs of girls and guys either having fun or pretending to have fun, ending with a hookup or a long, brisk walk home. And of course, you can’t forget about apartment parties, which let’s admit, are usually pretty awkward and cramped. Not to mention the fee that usually comes with it at the door, which pays for what exactly? 

When you’re finally 21, you’re either already established in a sorority with the promise of invites to parties, or you’re free to ditch the frat party scene and go out to the bars. Perhaps you’re living the best of both worlds. Once you turn 21 though, nothing changes except for the fact that you get to drink legally. And that just means every bar is going to be overly crowded with everyone previously at frat parties. The only things that change are the social setting, your choice of alcohol, and the time you have to wait in line. 

In reality, there are always stupid drunk people in any setting, but adults outside of college towns tend to hold their own. The goal is usually to socialize, have a few drinks, and have an enjoyable time. People are from different places, backgrounds, and areas of work. There are casual talks with new people, maybe even a little flirting.

Ultimately, you’re sitting down catching up with the girls or guys over drinks, or you’re at the bar mingling. This time, the social setting does make a difference, because it gauges how you’re supposed to act, who are the people you’ll be surrounded by, whether you get to go fancy or casual and the difference in maturity level and self-control.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
Photo posted by @zoella on Instagram

Most likely, everyone around you in college is between the ages of 18-22. Everyone’s going through similar experiences, approaching similar stages in life. And while it’s true what they say about only going to college once, college is just a snippet of the rest of your life. You’re so young. You haven’t even experienced some of the most amazing things you’ll get to experience.

If you don’t want to go out, you don’t have to. You’re not missing much. And why do something that you ultimately don’t enjoy doing? Do what you enjoy, because there are plenty of bars and clubs waiting for you when you graduate.

Going out in college has the potential to provide a good time. But it also has the potential to provide many regretful experiences/decisions that you can’t get back. Staying home may be preventing you from having social experiences, but it may be just what you need to relax. If you don’t like going out, then you’re not missing out.

According to OnePoll in conjunction with Eventbrite, once individuals reach the age of 30 and beyond, drinking isn’t as large of a factor when it comes to social outings. Social connection, a general desire to experience new things, and finding events that tap into one’s collective interests are what drive social outings and experiences.

Whether it be the alcohol or the social setting that diverts your lack of interest in college parties or bars, the college party scene isn’t tailored to suit everyone and isn’t the end all be of fun or social life. 

Tweet us @VALLEYMag on Twitter with your party thoughts and experiences!



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