The Evolution of Drinking Over 4 Years of College, From Keg Stands to Whiskey-Fueled Senioritis

During your college years, you go through many important transformations — from girl to woman, from scholastic neophyte to expert in your chosen field, from a person who has no money to a person who now has negative amounts of money — but perhaps none of those changes are as important as your transformation in the field of heavy college drinking, as you grow from a novice drunk to an accomplished tippler.

I'm kidding, I'm kidding! Literally everything you learned in college was more important than learning how to drink (unless you were a philosophy major). But still, one can't deny that the metamorphosis from beer-swilling caterpillar to butterfly who knows how to discreetly vomit Franzia into a trash can and then rally, is for many of us, one of the developmental pillars of our collegiate experience.

And so, though I know you're probably eager to forget your college drinking years (or possibly only half-recall them to begin with), in the spirit of the new year and fearless self-reflection, let's take a walk down memory lane, and recall the most shameful, foul, and embarrassing drinking that you'll ever engage in in your entire life (that is, until you attend your 10 year high school reunion — but we can discuss that later). Bottoms up!

Summer Before Freshman Year

Okay, so we're like two months away from attending actual college parties with, like, actual adult 21-year-olds. We need to up our game. We need to learn how to look cool, hold our liquor, and not just mix whatever we find in Samantha's dad's liquor cabinet with Pepsi. We need to start drinking real, sophisticated adult drinks so that we don't look like little kids. So, do you think Josh's brother will buy us some Smirnoff Ices with his fake I.D.?

Freshman Orientation

Was my freshman orientation leader lying when she said it was an ancient school tradition for every new student to drink as many Jagerbombs as they can for three uninterrupted minutes without using their hands? Also, why am I lying down in a hallway? I don't remember lying down in a hallway. Eh, seems like as good enough a place as any to go to sleep, I'll figure the rest of this out tomorrow.

Freshman Year, First Semester

You know, there's a lot less Smirnoff Ice going around this place than I had expected. Guess I'll just drink nine cups of whatever's in this keg! Oh, what was that? Yes, sure, I'd love to learn to play this "Flip Cup" that you speak of.

Freshman Year, End of First Semester

Josh is having a Big Lebowski party in his room! He's making everyone White Russians! It'll be so fun!

Freshman Year, End of First Semester, Ten Minutes Later

Oh, wait, the joke in this movie is that White Russians are horrible! I finally understand this film art on a deeper level.

Freshman Year, Second Semester

Okay, so you know how you get to a party and it is super awkward for the first hour until you get drunk, because you're just like hyper-aware than you're standing around a weird house with a broken couch and a dumb old-timey French poster and a mysteriously sticky kitchen floor? Well, I have discovered an amazing solution! It's called the Hour of Power, and it will get you wasted! We'll never have to show up for a party semi-sober again! We'll be totally loosened up when we get there, totally ready to dance and we'll look super cool. Yeah, yeah, Michelle might vomit in her hair again, but that's just a risk that we have to take!

Sophomore Year, First Semester

I can't believe I used to drink forties last year. I was beyond foul. These freshman are like actual babies. Like, I can't even believe they let them in here. Disgusting. Now, will you please pass the generic vodka that I bribed my "Controversies in Contemporary Biology" TA to buy us?

Sophomore Year, Spring Break

I looooove tequila!

Sophomore Year, Immediately After Spring Break

I hate tequila. Is that stuff made out of actual crack? Did I really try to start a fight with that bouncer? Did I actually throw a taco at a girl's head because she said The O.C. was "only okay"? Did I actually pee in an alley while giving the thumbs up? Whose shoes are these? THERE ARE SHOES IN MY BAG THAT DO NOT BELONG TO ME! Ugh, this never happened when I was drinking bottom-shelf vodka, like a normal, sane human being.

Junior Year, First Semester

We're not little kids anymore, okay? We're adults, we live off campus, and we need to get it together. No more posters of Bob Marley smoking a blunt or signs we stole from a construction site on our walls — our walls are now strictly covered in tasteful tapestries that I bought from the bong store downtown. And we're not going to go to keggers with all those little babies any more. We're going to be sophisticated adults, and have dinner parties, and drink wine.

And as luck would have it, this entire box of wine was only $7.99, so we're going to be set for a while! To legitimate adulthood!

Junior Year, Second Semester

Yeah, going abroad was pretty cool, I guess. Really expanded my horizons. Oh, you guys have been having dinner parties here? That's cute. I spent the last two months drinking absinthe with half-mad poets inside the ruins of an ancient castle just outside Budapest, but yeah, I guess cooking some spaghetti while you listen to Bon Iver must be fun, too.

Anyway, I brought back this drink, its call unicum, it's the national liquor of Hungary. I had to smuggle it back to the States (don't ask how). Did you know that when Hungary was under Communist rule, the people had to make unicum in secret? Some people probably got killed for making it, they thought it was that important. But hey, no pressure, you can keep drinking your Franzia, I'm sure that's pretty cool, too. Yes, unicum tastes a little like bathroom disinfectant, but that's part of the charm. You'd probably understand it better if you ever went to the Continent.

Senior Year, First Semester

I am so glad we can finally stop going to loud, overcrowded, stupid frat parties and start going to loud, overcrowded, amazing bars!

Senior Year, Last Semester

It's not that I don't care about anything anymore, and am just kinda blowing off all my classes and drinking straight whiskey at noon in my pjs because I'm terrified about landing a job when we leave and I don't even know what I'm going to do with literally any part of the rest of my life, but ... oh, I don't even care enough to lie to you. Sorry.

Senior Year, Night Before Graduation

I love tequila! And I love YOU, Guy Who's Been In Like Half of My Classes Over the Past Four Years But Whom I Have Never Spoken To Before! I love you all! We're gonna live forevvvvvvvvver!

Graduation Day

I hate everything.

Post-Graduation, After Moving Back Home With Your Parents

I cannot believe I still have to wait until my parents are asleep and then sneak into their liquor cabinet. Well, at least I know what the good mixers are now.

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