Red solo cups line my way as I walk on floors so sticky that it feels like I’ve stepped in gum. The music pulses loud through my veins, making my ears feel like they’re bleeding; there’s people pressed against each other in a sweaty blob on the dance floor. No, this isn’t a rave, it’s not a concert, it’s much worse: I’ve just walked into a frat party.
I’m an introvert. A pretty cautious one too. Unlike my extroverted sister who went to her first frat party the month before her freshman year, I went to my first frat party the last month of my sophomore year. I just never felt like I was the party type. I’m into quiet nights in; I’m talking Netflix, YouTube or a book with a nice cup of tea. Yes I know, I’m a grandma.
Going to my first frat party last semester was completely out of my comfort zone and about as bad as people say, but surprisingly, I actually kind of liked it because it brought out a side of me I never knew existed. And instead of just listening to the crazy weekend stories of my more outgoing friends, I for once had a crazy story to tell. For introverts considering going to their first frat party but are still on the fence, here are some tips to help you get through the night and maybe even have some fun.
1. Dress to Impress…Yourself
Definitely wear an outfit that makes you feel comfortable. You’ll have a lot more fun if you feel confident instead of exposed. When I was trying to pick out what to wear for my first party, I thought about wearing a skirt but my friend told me that guys like to feel you up. Jeans suddenly sounded like the better option.
I was surprised to find out everyone at frat parties are pretty casual. You rarely see any dresses, skirts or heels. Plus, drunk people are literally spilling drinks on your head, splashing beer on your clothes during beer pong and bumping drinks out of people’s hands when they try to squeeze through the crowd. So wear clothes that you can get ruined and seriously, take all your Instagram photos early in the night.
2. Show Up with Your Squad
Always go to frat parties with a group. Aside from avoiding the awkwardness of showing up to a party alone (an introvert’s worst nightmare), it’s much safer to go in packs. Even Beyoncé shows up to important gigs with her squad nowadays.
The more people you have the better, because you never know when that jungle juice is going to hit and you suddenly think it’s a great idea to go home with a stranger or jump out a window. If nothing else, you might need someone there to hold your hair in the restroom. Plus, it’s better to reminisce about the crazy antics you got into with someone other than yourself.
It’s also really important to have one really hot friend of the same sex in your group, because they will capture the attention of the people you’d prefer to avoid. For boys, a hot friend will deflect you from all the clingy drunk girls, and for girls, your hot friend will attract all the sleazy fuckboys. It works like a charm—just make sure you save them eventually. But if you are the hot friend…sorry.
Work out a plan with your group on how you’re going to get to the party and back, because riding with strangers is dangerous and so is drunk driving. If your school is like mine, maybe some poor freshman pledges are recruited to sober drive on the weekends or there might be buses that take you to the parties.
3. Social Caterpillar
My sister is a total social butterfly. She will enter a party and immediately start circling the room to find people she knows or begin meeting new people. But introverts are more like social caterpillars: It takes them a little more time to open up, but once they’re comfortable around you it’s hard to shut up.
As an introvert at a party, I generally enjoy sticking with my group. And that’s okay. I feel like being out of the Greek life circle grants me a good excuse to stay with my group, because I don’t have many friends in fraternities or sororities. But if you are in Greek life, it might be easier for you to branch out, find people you know and get introduced to new people.
Greeks and non-Greeks alike may still get cornered by that one person who feels like a party is a great place to find out your entire life story, but luckily for introverts, the music is usually too loud to hold a conversation with anyone anyway. Just yell “What?” a few hundred times, and hope they think you’re actually deaf and leave you alone. But if you want to be more social, try watching a game of beer pong (because there’s always beer pong) and ask the person next to you who you think is going to win. If you hang around long enough, they might even ask you to play the next round.
4. Dance Like No One’s Watching
Ladies, sweaty drunk guys are going to grind on you. They just will.
If you’re looking as good as I’m assuming you will, some horny creep is going to press their moist body against yours. Stay calm, just make the bathroom excuse and pull one of your friends with you. Or take one of your friends by the hand and start dancing with them while slowly blocking the creep out. Maybe your friends will even get the hint that you’d like to escape the body mashing and form a wall around you. Definitely work out a rescue plan beforehand. If you feel self-conscious about dancing, don’t; everyone is too drunk to care.
You could literally be doing this and no one would think much of it. If you’re having a hard time letting loose, take advantage of the free booze and get some liquid courage. But never feel like you have to drink. Surprisingly no one really cares if you’re wasted or completely sober.
5. Just Hold It
Restrooms are probably the worst for introverts. Aside from the line being super long because the frat guys will only let you use that one restroom downstairs, a couple is bound to be making out on the wall nearby and someone is probably going to try to talk to you.
It’s the perfect set up: You’re away from the loud music, waiting in line, bored out of your mind, regretting the last few shots you threw back and completely open for a social attack. So some girl might think it’s the appropriate time to start a lengthy conversation with you because she incorrectly recognizes you (through her drunken haze) as that girl in her psych class. Said girl might even try to shove some beer in your face completely ignoring the fact that you’re in line for THE RESTROOM.
If someone does come up to you they’ll probably end up doing most of the talking, so just smile and nod until they find a new fascination and hope the restroom smells like anything but vomit. If it does smell like vomit, breathe in through the mouth, out through the nose.
Whether you’re a social butterfly or a social caterpillar, I think a frat party is something every college student should experience at least once. And who knows, you might find out you’re a partier after all.