where the party's at

A freshman’s guide to Wriston Quad

where the party's at

You can feel the changes already: one month into the semester and you’re actually (somewhat) acclimated to life at Brown. You’ve figured out your classes (and took the S/NC jump), you have more than two people to sit with in the Ratty (and finally got that creepy dude off your back), and are well on your way to comprehending the difference between credits and points (one of them is for muffins only, right?).  Looks like the only things left to master are homework and living for the weekend.

Oh, right…the weekend.

There are a lot of activities I could advocate for and against here, but for brevity’s sake, this post will deal with the locale where a lot of them will probably take place: Wriston Quad. One-armed Caesar Augustus has seen enough shenanigans in his day (and survived a hurricane!), so make his rusty visage proud by handling yourself like a champ in these situations.

But I’m basically Ansel Adams!

As inebriation and the hysteria of seeing your best friend from POLS 40 in the basement of Sigma set in, cameras and iPhones will inevitably be yanked out of purses and pockets. Like a well-built piece of flypaper, anything with a camera in it causes the more narcissistic of us to flock towards the flash. So go easy on the party’s flow – don’t take more than two pictures of the same group of people. Stick to one serious, one funny. You’ll wake up the next morning and not remember half of their names, so make the tagging easier and keep your photo seminars brief.

Do use a disposable camera. You never know where you’re going next, what with the plethora of dance parties going on at any time on campus, and you don’t want to be at risk for camera damage. Besides, everybody looks great in 135 film, and you’ll keep the decade of capture ambiguous. Forget the instant gratification of a digital camera—tons of great surprises await you upon getting the film developed.

I am Freshman, hear me roar

Don’t be afraid to get loudness out of your system. The quad is a perfect place to learn how to beatbox, have an unnecessarily loud argument about the iPhone 5, or tease others about their poor choice of footwear (Uggs with a little black dress? Really?). Plus, on the grass, there’s no house music to strain your voice over.

Do introduce yourself to people. Even if you’re not a freshman, the early fall is a great time to connect with more lovely Brown students. And, as always, by “introduce” we mean “scramble.”

Wait, what time does Antonio’s close?

Don’t wait until it’s too late to grab food. Providence literally shuts down at 2:00 a.m. (except for Wings Over). When the clock strikes such a wee hour you’ll want to have pulled a Cinderella and have that Nice Slice in hand. Start rallying support for mobilization as soon as you hear your stomach growl (or whenever you realize the person manning the iPod is leading you all on and is never going to bust out R. Kelly).

Do fill your stomach if you’re feeling a little on the out-of-control side. You know when it’s time (but…well…just avoid the taco truck).

Queue and A

Don’t (blatantly) cut in line for the next progressive/body chemistry/Halloween party. If you’re going to budge your way to the front, at least be coy about it. In any case, it’s only, what, a ten minute wait? You’ll all be rapidly approaching your personal Natty tolerance levels soon enough.

Do chat up with the people in front and behind you. You’ll be partying with them momentarily, and sorting out the skeevy ones might be the difference between grinding or grimacing.

Those stoop kids…

Don’t loiter on the porch once you’ve been kicked out of a party. Frat residents are people, too, and they’re probably trying to get people to disperse as best as they can, so you won’t be helping. It’s lollygaggers like you that sour the deal and lead to higher cover charges…

Do check out the porch if the party is still going on. It’s a nice place to be able to have conversations that wont make your vocal chords hate you in the morning (although if “Kids” comes on, they’re pretty much doomed).

One, two, buckle my Sperrys

Don’t wear anything with a spike. Those stilettos you brought because you wanted to try to do the glamorous thing? Yeah, definitely not worth the rigor of a calf workout, and they sink into the grass faster than a knife through a horror-movie coed.

Do wear something you don’t mind getting a lil muddy. Providence averages 4 days of rain per week, so there may be puddles, or that one sludgy corner of the basement that all the dancers are avoiding.

The bottom line

Soak in the warm-ish air while its still bearable, and enjoy Wriston without making a complete fool of yourself – you’ve got three more years to make that happen!

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