Dear Class of 2020,
For four long years you worked hard to get into college and now you find yourselves at William and Mary. Presumably, you have moved into your new dorm, taken the Honor pledge and memorized the alma mater. Now, you wonder, what else is college about?
Yes, parties. Relatively speaking, W&M is not a “party-school,” but there are options. Yet, in my time here I have learned a lot about partying and it’s not what you think. In order to clarify what I mean by this, I must first narrate a typical night out and outline some safety tips.
You’ll sip the murky jungle juice and try to dance on a coffee table. Sometime during the night you will end up near Wawa.
It’s your first week and you want to go out. You and your roommate will coordinate the day before; you want to assure it’ll be an unforgettable night. When game-time arrives you will have planned a comprehensive itinerary. First, you’ll hit up the XYZ fraternity party. Then, you’ll attend the ABC fraternity because your roommate knows a brother there from back in high school. You’ll meet people whom you’ll encounter everywhere but who never seem to remember you. You’ll sip the murky jungle juice and try to dance on a coffee table. Sometime during the night you will end up near Wawa. You may buy a hoagie, but don’t forget to pick it up. In the past, I’ve gotten free hoagies on Friday nights thanks to the short-term memory of plastered students. You’re more likely to go to Late Night Sadler your freshman year anyways. Do they still have that? I don’t even know, but if you do it’s probably a bad idea unless you want nacho cheese on an unbaked potato.
On that note, here are some pointers:
- Avoid swimming in Lake Matoaka. It may seem like a good idea at first, but I can assure you it’s not — unless you want to have green skin for days.
- Bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer to a party house. The bathrooms are almost always filthy and inadequate.
- Get your crush’s name and number at a party, get coffee or dinner when you’re both sober. Trust me, it’s the safest way to get a date and you’ll have more meaningful relationships.
- If you plan to drink a lot, leave Advil and a glass of water next to your bed in advance. You will thank yourself in the morning. Do it for your friends too.
- Avoid hardcore addictive drugs — once you’re in you can rarely ever get out. It can ruin your life and your relationships. I speak based on the experience of close friends.
- Take care of each other. College is not a competition for who has the craziest night out. It’s a four-year long experience that we’re all trying to enjoy. If you think something is a bad idea, then it probably is and you should speak up. And always be courteous to others.
- Please do not walk home alone. Make sure you know who you are going home with. Find a reliable party buddy and talk about your game-plan in advance. This is especially critical if you’re going to an off-campus party. If you find yourself alone, don’t hesitate to call W&M police. Their primary concern is your safety. I also recommend immediately adding Steer Clear to your contacts.
The most fun I have ever had at W&M have been the times I hung out with a few friends at home, not at parties.
Now that all the party advice is said and done, I would like to present to you my own discovery as a senior. The most fun I have ever had at W&M have been the times I hung out with a few friends at home, not at parties. I rarely go out to parties anymore, but I did my freshman year. Call me lame, but music, laughter and a bottle of wine at home with close friends is quite the celebration. You probably won’t listen to this advice now, but you will come to understand it in time.
You, in four years
Email Francesca Maestas at firstname.lastname@example.org