If you want to fit in at UVA, you're going to have to learn the etiquette of partying. Parties are the key to making your mark at this University, the way to social success and acceptance. Partying the right way can truly make a difference on how you are perceived and how many friends you make. It may seem like a simple thing: go out, find a party, and get wasted. However, there is actually a lot more to it. There are certain guidelines that one must follow in order to get the true UVA experience. It's a complicated process that requires a lot of effort.
First, there is the heavy amount of preparation involved. Here is the typical scenario for the girls. An hour before you are scheduled to leave for the first in a long list of parties, there are a bunch of people scurrying around you. This would be the search for "the outfit." Everyone is borrowing everyone else's clothes and shoes. It's kind of touching, it's like a team effort to win the big game. So after many outfits have been tried on and discarded, you head off. Of course you have to leave with at least one other person, so that you won't have to face this new challenging experience alone. I'm not sure of the exact procedure for guys, but I think it goes something like this: you throw on your nicest T-shirt and a pair of jeans or the infamous khakis. Next, you have to start drinking before you leave, so now you have the courage to talk to girls.
After all the preparations have been made, you have to decide what parties you want to grace with your presence. There are many decision factors. You have to make sure there will be beer, for of course a party is not a party without beer. Another factor would be dancing. Some parties have bands, other have dance CDs. There also the parties that have no music. Those are parties where everyone spends the night cram packed into a crowded room drinking and talking, exciting huh? You also have to choose between going to the fraternity parties or hitting the house parties. If you decide on the frat parties, make sure you know someone there well enough to be on his guest list. If you pick the house parties, there is no guest list to worry about, but there is also not that much beer.
Once you arrive at the party, head straight for the kegs. After that you can make a couple of social laps. Between each lap take a refresher at the keg. Walk around finding everyone you know, push through the crowds, and spill your drink everywhere and on everyone. Finally find a location at the party you can commit to, preferably darkly lit with a couch, and a person you can hook up with. Don't worry, he/she won't remember you tomorrow.
These are the rules to attending parties at UVA. As you will find out, parties are an important part of university life. This is especially true for first-years, you don't want to be left out of the killer weekend. Every weekend here can be a killer party weekend. If you don't go out at least two weekends in a month, you will be labeled a freak or a social outcast. Don't let this happen to you, be wise. Follow my directions and you'll be fine.
ENLT 214M, OCTOBER 1997