Freshman Faux Pas: To Party or Not to Party, That is the Question

Vincent PhamThe clock had just ticked past midnight, and I was still (unsuccessfully) uncorking my sister’s only bottle of Moscato D’Asti (which, I immediately learned, I would drink over hard liquor any day). In a panic and a rush of trying to get some sort of celebration going, I broke the top of the cork off, shoved the bottom in the bottle and let the sparkling $7 wine flow. I rang in 2012 with the most glorious first hangover I could ever have had and a lot of sleep. That was my first brush with alcohol, and it wouldn’t be the last (I am indebted to the drinking gods that hangovers don’t last forever).

College is, in my opinion, inexorably tied to drinking. It gives you an excuse to drink on just about any occasion, whether it’s Moonshine Monday, Turnt-Up Tuesday, Box Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fucked Up Friday, Schmammered Saturday or your classic Sunday brunch accompanied with bottomless Mimosas. I may have made up nearly all of these fun alliterations, but you get the idea. It’s the culture we’re surrounded with, and it should be accepted. But this doesn’t go without saying that you have to be part of it. I concede that many of the memorable experiences I mentioned in my previous column were in fact due to successful inebriation. It is definitely worth the effort to attend your fair share of parties, if that’s what you’re looking for. Take a walk through I-House, hit up The Village if you have some connections or just go to SDSU if you’re looking for something different. Do it all because I’m a firm believer in #yolo.

But, partying shouldn’t be the defining trend of your freshman year or something you do just because everyone else does it. Partying shouldn’t be the only way for you to meet people and the only way you can talk to strangers because you gain “confidence” as you drink more. Alcohol is undoubtedly a social lubricant, but don’t depend on it. And going to parties definitely shouldn’t be your only version of fun on a weekend.

Maybe it’s because I’m not an absolute bombshell with perfect hair and an alluring smile (I do have slightly better-than-average skin), but I didn’t go to a ridiculous amount of parties my freshman year. Several nights were spent settling Catan (you’re welcome to join me) or shooting the moon in a heated game of Hearts. Or, Friday nights were spent between the sheets (ha) of textbooks and books about Margaret Thatcher. Maybe, on a few occasions, if my friends and I could get our hands on some bootleg liquor (plastic handles, of course, because we’re poor), we’d have a kickback. Even then, we would drink very comfortably and in good company.

You’ll find things to do, trust me. You’ll meet amazing people in the least likely places, and it won’t have to be at a sweaty, humid party. And with all of this, you’ll still have fun with genuine people, building real relationships. I do acknowledge all of this can happen in a party setting, and I’m sure it does. I just wanted to point out that you define fun in your own way, and it shouldn’t be imposed upon you in the forms of peer pressure or lack better things to do.

But what do I know? It’s Halloween, go get all forms of drunk with that person dressed up as Jesus — I heard he forgives.