I thought I knew everything about college before I came to Brown. I thought that I was headed off to four years of constant fun, excitement and recklessness. Sitting here on the month-iversary of my arrival on College Hill, I now realize that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. The following are the numerous mistakes in my thinking.
It’s here: fall. The leaves have started throwing shades of orange, red and yellow across the Main Green. With the cold settling in, a flurry of sweaters, hot chocolate and warm boots has spread across campus. And, most tellingly, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has arrived in Starbucks.
Now that the cooler weather is finally starting to creep in, more people will find themselves spending time indoors. There can be a dearth of activities to occupy yourself with inside. But fret not because there’s always one reliable thing you can turn to when you have a few hours on a Sunday afternoon: a book.
Reporting live from the floor of the Metcalf elevator, it’s Saturday night! How I ended up lying here, I’m honestly not sure. I think it’s also important to preface that I’m under nefarious influences, which probably call my journalistic credibility into question. But that minutia aside, I’m excited to reflect on what has, so far, been a relatively lit* college partying experience.
I hope I’m not alone in confessing that in high school, my nights pretty much exclusively consisted of homework. In desperate and somewhat daring hopes of being admitted to a school like Brown, I studied my ass off, and you probably did, too. I mean sure, there are a select few among us who managed to maintain perfect transcripts while regularly experimenting with club drugs, and I totally applaud those people for that. But for me, the payoff involved a lot of sacrifice. Now that we’re all finally here, it’s time to throw down.
Granted, social life at Brown is great, but it’s no Blue Mountain State. Friday nights don’t just happen; they are planned. If you live way out in Pembroke like I do, every decision needs to be made strategically, taking into account all the variables that threaten to derail the evening’s success. Pros and cons must be evaluated, details confirmed, Google Maps consulted. What is the statistical probability that the party gets shut down before we get there? And exactly how close are you with that guy on the baseball team?
Every friend group needs a friend who is good at that kind of stuff. A rational friend, who prides themselves on responding to texts efficiently and getting everyone back to a dorm in one piece. I have that friend, and I love her to death. Where she is right now, I don’t know, but I’d really appreciate if she’d come fetch me off the elevator floor.
Anyway, since I’m going to be here a while, I thought I might as well compile a list of lessons I’ve learned over the past three weekends of “going out” — or trying to.
- When deciding how many Ubers to call, be realistic. Six people in Stanley’s Honda Accord is doable. But eight? Eight is ambitious.
- Don’t solely rely on “that cute guy from ENGN 09” to text you the details.
- If bae doesn’t text you the details, that’s their loss. Remember: your body is a wonderland.
- Lingering in the tiny bathroom of a crowded nightclub is a great way to hear secrets, but it also guarantees that you will accessorize with trailing TP.
- Wear the body suit!
- Sometimes it’s okay to pretend you’re a junior. Other times, it’s absolutely necessary.
- When it comes to the keg, roll up your sleeves and prepare to throw elbows.
- Always treat your blisters.
- Vodka and tequila are IN NO WAY interchangeable.
- If the conversation starts with “The thing about Hillary is …” Retreat immediately.
- Memorizing the lyrics to every Drake song ever isn’t mandatory, but it’s definitely encouraged.
- Mozzarella sticks are always a good idea.
- Playing card games with your unit mates is a great way to bond and a great way to end the night.
- If you’re not international, don’t try to fake an accent in hopes of getting into a Buxton pregame.
- You can’t write that paper drunk. You might think you can, but you just can’t.
As illustrated above, the last few weeks have been enlightening to say the least. Especially the vodka-tequila distinction thing.
That revelation almost ended me.
Another watershed realization was that getting f**ed up with friends isn’t going to be the best part of my college experience. Sure, I might end up on the elevator floor a few more times, refusing to get up despite my roommate’s insistence that I go to bed. But for the health and wellbeing of myself and the people around me, I’m going to cool it on the party thing, because as long as there are horny nerds on this campus, there will always be another party. Of that, and that alone, we can be sure.
*The official definition of “lit,” according to Urban Dictionary is “Something that is fucking amazing in any sense.”
One of my favorite words is the German “Schadenfreude”, meaning pleasure derived from another’s misfortune, like laughing when an obnoxiously speeding driver is pulled over by the cops. It definitely came to mind this week in the waves of Jennifer Aniston memes circulating post Brangelina Breakup such as this:
If you’ve gotten into a two-minute conversation about Netflix these days, chances are someone has frantically asked you, “DO YOU WATCH STRANGER THINGS??” I was asked this question at least ten times in the last week (three of those times were by the same person — she really wanted me to watch “Stranger Things”), and every time I watched their optimistic smiles fade and the hope drain from their eyes when I replied apologetically, “… no.”
But all of that has changed now. Being the dedicated and loyal friend that I am, I could not stand to disappoint any longer. During a two-day battle with procrastinator’s guilt and Netflix addiction, I successfully binge-watched the entire premier season of “Stranger Things.” My friends were all very proud. It was a formative experience; I laughed, I cried. I also realized how every main character accurately represents a member of a close-knit friend group with hilarious quirks and unbreakable bonds.
This is the first installment of a serialized fiction piece. A new portion of the story will be published every week, stay tuned!
Facing the mirror as she brushed through her hair, she couldn’t help but notice that the grey strands were beginning to outnumber the black ones. She tugged at a couple, pulling them from her scalp and letting them fall to the ground before rubbing her head almost apologetically and turning away from the mirror.
She eventually willed herself to leave her bedroom and, with a long day stretched out before her, resolved to pull out a book and get some reading done while the house was quiet. She sat for a while with the book open on her lap, too wrapped up in her own thoughts to even begin to try to process the words on the page, when her daughter called.