Finals are right around the corner, but as soon as the week of hell has finally ended, fatigue disappears and students will emerge from the library to party. Many will get trashed by beer, shots, keg stands, beer pong and random concoctions of alcohol, sodas and juices.
While the memories or the lack thereof is quintessential to the college experience, there is a person you shouldn’t forget: the one who cuts you off after 10 shots, holds your hair as you empty your stomach in the toilet and drives you home at the end of the night (or early morning). That’s right, it’s the sober friend, the one who prefers water to Jägerbombs or abstains for the night to help everyone out.
Trying to Keep Friends Alive
Once everyone is three shots into the party, this person comes trying to make sure no one dies. It’s like trying to take care of a Tamagotchi: if you’re not keeping constant watch, it’ll die. The sober people at the party end up monitoring the drinkers so that they don’t get alcohol poisoning.
As the sober one in a party, this is where your evaluation skills come to play again: is your friend just tipsy or about to go into a coma? The party animals that have had too much to drink need to be cut off, which means keeping them away from the bar and the general population in case vomit will make an entrance. Handling a group of drunk people is like trying to herd cats as they wander around aimlessly.
When tending to the highly intoxicated, you’ll end up feeding them bread and water and trying to prevent them from spitting up. In addition to feeding your drunk children, you also clean up after their messes, such as vomit or spilled drinks on the floor. Parenthood was supposed to be years away, but this party and its drunk students have given a glimpse of the future.
Similar to the designated driver, as one of the only partygoers sipping on water for the night, you are able to drive and subsequently can go to the store and pick things up.
If the party runs out of soda, snacks, margarita mix, alcohol (if you’re 21 or older), the sober driver is on their way to get it. Even when there is no paper towel in the house and partiers are throwing up, the driver will bring back whatever the party requires.
Weird (and Weirder) Conversations
The beginning of the party is usually better than the end when no one is locked in the bathroom puking their guts out or incapable of having a conversation. As the party reaches its peak, it’s harder and harder to talk to people about a certain number of topics because of their drunkenness. Intelligent debates on Philosophy 101 is possible at 9 p.m., but by 3 a.m. they barely know what their major is.
At this point, it turns into a weird experience where most people are speaking at the level of a 7-year-old and yet there you are in the middle of it, with an uninhibited brain, trying to figure out what they are trying to say. Normal conversations are more and more impossible with each hour passing by, but it’s still amusing to observe everything.
Sometimes when everyone is completely hammered and incapable of basic tasks, you’ll try to do the right thing, which means cleaning up the war zone of a party. It’s not the responsibility of the sober person, but when you know that your friends will regret their decisions in the morning, it doesn’t hurt to be nice.
Mopping up spilled vodka, throwing out red solo cups and wiping up vomit are not how you imagined spending a part of your night and it sucks, but you will definitely be hailed as the hero, the real MVP of that night.
As the sober person at the party, you will most likely be appointed designated driver (or DD for short) by the group. Everything is great on the way to the party, everyone is joking with each other, talking about school and work. No one is drunk yet (unless they pre-gamed) and everyone is conscious and coherent. Its only on the way back where the issues arise.
Driving a group of drunk people home means being prepared for the worst and driving very carefully. Plastic bags and towels must be kept in the car at all times. Who knows if that sharp right turn will cause your friend to upchuck their ramen dinner and nine tequila shots?
After carefully parking at your friend’s apartment/dorm comes evaluating their level of drunkenness. Is it conscious-happy-go-lucky drunk or passed-out-in-the-back-seat drunk? If it’s the latter of the two, then the next step is half dragging, half leading them to their unit and praying their roommate can let you in.
And when you throw them on the bed, make sure to keep their head to the side so they don’t choke on their puke. The cycle repeats itself with the other passengers till you finally get home just before dawn and sleep for 10 hours.
The Morning After
The next day, many will wonder what exactly happened that night and with no fuzzy recollections, you fill in the blanks for your friends. They say, “wait I did what?!,” “how many shots did I do?” and so much more.
There’s a feeling of importance as if you’re in a secret club when only you and a few individuals remember most details of the party. There’s no better feeling than retelling all of the mischiefs from that night to your friends and that’s the best perk of being sober at an alcohol-filled party.