Part ways with the party

We college kids are generally regarded as a hard-core, drinking, partying bunch.

Society has probably always thought kids in the 18-23 age range are a bunch of partiers anyway, but I can’t help but think that the party mentality has recently reached a fever pitch.

Parties have been the same for as long as I can remember. I recall watching my seventh-grade peers freak dancing to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” as I sat on the side of Kastner Intermediate’s gym munching on some greasy Clovis Unified pizza.

I was hoping that the dances and parties my friends and I went to would be different in high school — but they weren’t. The same kind of music was played at house parties the popular kids hosted for all four years, and the dancing was exactly the same as the kind we engaged in during junior high.

“Maybe college will be different,” I thought.

Nope. The party culture didn’t change there either.

As I sadly realized that the same horrible top-40 music would be played at skanky frat parties as well (not to mention the drunk masses simulating something much dirtier than dancing), I resigned myself to being in the two percent of college students who don’t like to drink and don’t like to party.

While I do realize that puts me in a very small minority, I wonder what partying would be like if it was a little classier. What if instead of listening to J.Lo (who is overrated, by the way), we listened to Michael Buble? And what if, instead of the girls having a contest on who can bare the most skin while still being technically clothed, we actually dressed like the ladies we claim to be? Dresses and heels, anyone?

At some point, one would think that we college kids would grow out of our partying ways and grow up a little bit. But sometimes, it just isn’t meant to be.

This summer I went to a wedding that brought together this man and this woman ‘til death do they party, and boy, was that reception a party. The groom, 30, got plastered, and the bride, 29, was a little out of control. Every single person in the bridal party had at least three beers during the cocktail hour, and later into the night, more than one 20-something guest had passed out on one of the tables.

Parties like these are the norm, I know, but a less-than-gentlemanly guy I knew my sophomore year told me, after getting drunk in Santa Barbara and getting arrested for public intoxication, “Why not? At least I got a good story out of it.”

Good stories do not have to come out of getting drunk every weekend and feeling like you’re hung over the rest of the week, as a few people I know have come to realize. Good stories come out of things you remember, not things you have to piece together the next morning in an alcohol-induced fog.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer to remember my college experience, thank you very much.

Maddie Shannon is the former Arts & Entertainment editor of The Collegian, and will be a biweekly columnist throughout the semester.

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