Whether you're in college, out of college, or anticipating going to college next semester, you probably have parties on your mind. Sure, television shows depict such an event as a hookup zone with free watery beer and a DJ for some reason, but the reality is that college parties can often be a drag. In fact, there are a few things about college parties that you won't miss at all once you've graduated.
Take it from me — my roommates and I were totally new to the concept of "parties," but since we lived off-campus, we felt like we had the appropriate venue. I lived with two guys, and we had overlapping friend groups. We were also all of legal drinking age, and felt like we could pull off an event with maximum fun and minimal problems.
It turns out, even when you plan really hard (to the point of writing out signs that said "don't throw cans off the balcony," despite having zero friends who'd ever dream of partaking in such an act), the party can still unfold before your very eyes. There's nothing worse than feeling out of control at an event that you tried so desperately to control. The police may not have showed up, but a lot of other issues popped up. Even though our Facebook invite specified that guests must be 21 or older, we still had a friend or two sneak in random, questionable people who we felt weird IDing at the door. Our dreams of having a collection for pizza were dashed, since nobody ever thought to bring cash. And of course, there was always the one person who felt nauseous enough to hog up the bathroom for hours at a time.
Sure, they were fun. Everyone had a good time. But if I had to do it all again? Well, I wouldn't.
Here are a few aspects of college parties that I simply won't miss.
1. The fear that your crush might not show up
My roommates and I primarily held parties to try and spend time with someone new we just met. Typically the "hey, want to have a party in a few weeks?" discussion happened right as a new crush was developing. And then, when the crush in question gave a vague, non-specific "maybe" to the invite, a beautiful panic set in.
In our minds, THIS PARTY would be THE party where all of our dreams came true. Granted, I think I was a little more starry-eyed and unrealistic than my roommates. After all, their rooms didn't reek of burned hair, nor were their floors cluttered with four failed outfit ideas.
2. Fearing noise violations
We got lucky, really — we had thin walls, and lived in an apartment directly above a sweet elderly woman. Only once did security come knocking on our doors, possibly because any kind of floor movement from above sounded like a massacre to the gracious lady downstairs.
But, that didn't mean that the fear wasn't there. Except in my mind, it'd have been police officers instead of security guards. And they'd haul me off to jail, since I don't understand how these things work, exactly.
3. Anyone who brings a guitar
Come on, guy. This isn't a concert. Nobody wants to see you strum on a guitar in the corner. Chances are, you're doing this shirtless for some reason. This isn't a "hey, I picked up an acoustic that the apartment renter had lying around" situation, as much as an "I will physically bring my guitar and get the attention of so many ladies" move.
Just wait till you graduate, guys. The amount of guitars brought to parties declines magically, and the world becomes glorious.
4. The lack of booze measurement
When you see a party on television, you don't see twenty-somethings accurately measuring the amount of vodka that goes with the cranberry, so "eyeing it" seems pretty normal. You might own a shaker, but you don't know how to use it. And soda mixes with everything anyway!
Friends, this is why we get so obliterated so quickly.
Only after watching marathons of Bar Rescue had I realized that I've been doing it wrong. There's such a thing as an overpour, and it can get costly. In my case, it wouldn't cost money, per se — but it would cost me total embarrassment of saying things that I shouldn't be saying.
So, take that, and times it by the amount of non-teetotalers, and you've got a disaster waiting to happen. Adult parties? You're way more informed.
I mentioned this before, but randoms can be a real problem. Our parties weren't VIP events whatsoever, but it's tough to plan a party when you're not absolutely sure how many guests there'll be. For some reason, in college, those invited assume that the invite is open to everyone. "I'm bringing Mitch!" your clueless guests will say. Who's Mitch? Is he, like, nice? Or does he dab in questionable party drugs? It's kind of important to know beforehand, if that's Mitch's "thing."
When you host a party, you feel responsible over everything that happens under your roof. Not only do you want everyone to be safe, but you know that if the party gets busted, you'll be blamed. Bringing your "almost 21" year old random friend? Not cool, bro.
6. Helping friends vomit
It's the polite thing to do. The "hair holdback" has saved many women and longhaired guys from further embarrassment, but it's not the way you, as a host, want to remember the event.
When you just turn 21, you learn about limits. And since you're just familiarizing yourself with alcohol, you don't know what the next-day effects will be. There are so many excuses you can think of to keep on chugging booze, and when you're in your 20s, all of these excuses will make so much sense. After college, you know that a hangover will probably last way longer than a morning.
7. People touching your stuff
Remember how I mentioned randoms? My roommates were actually the victims of party theft from someone's friend of a friend. It was a book, but still — this sticky handed stranger took it without asking, and we never saw him again.
It's impossible to watch over everything at your party, but chances are, you'll have an acquaintance or two peek in your medicine cabinet, or peruse your DVD collection. And you'll feel a little violated. This can happen at any party with any age group, but college students are a tad more curious.
8. The jerk who messes with your playlist
You put time and thought into that playlist. Then, some jerk comes by and wants the room to listen to a few awful demos his newly created band made. And they're terrible. They're always terrible!
Trust me, adults know not to mess with the sound system. College-aged party guests always assume that their personal, individual music taste will enhance your party.
9. Thinking of creative "themes"
In my eyes, there's only one amazing party theme. And that's called "Dress to Impress." Why, may you ask? Well, people tend to be a little less sloppy when they're in fancy attire. Guys don't want to accidentally pour beer all over their fancy suit. Girls want to make sure they're still able to walk in their gorgeous heels without the risk of a swollen ankle. Everyone wins!
Everything else is terrifying. And if you have a lot of parties, there's a chance you feel the need to distinguish them from one another. Even worse, if you have one theme party, people will assume every party after will be a theme. How about having the theme of "let's all just have a good and safe time"? You won't have to worry about half of the guests not getting the memo and feeling foolish, nor will you worry about guests trying to embarrassingly upstage each other.