Party in the ATX
Advice for Freshmen: How to be responsibly irresponsible
After writing an article giving freshmen some (hopefully) helpful advice about how to make the most out of college and prepare for job searching, I thought I could also present the other side of the same coin. College is mostly about higher learning and expanding horizons, but don’t forget that it’s also about doing some stupid shit.
Let’s be honest, we all want to make the most out of the thousands of dollars that our parents invest in sending us away to live on our own. At the same time, college is where memories are made, and you can’t put a price on good memories, now can you?
So let this serve as an introduction into how to make memories that you and your friends will recount to one another for years down the road—the same kind that you wouldn’t want to tell your kids about.
Round up a posse
One of the greatest times you’ll experience in college is getting to meet new people and make new friends, whether it’s in classes, student organizations or at some random apartment party on West Campus. It doesn’t take much effort to run in to someone who shares your passion for the Legend of Zelda or Ed Wood films.
It shouldn’t take long before you start forming a little faction that hangs out all the time and soon starts planning crazy things to do. Sure, it always starts out innocently enough, like going to the movies or having an all-night Mario Party marathon, but it doesn’t take long before you come up with more devious ideas.
Just like it takes multiple heads to solve some of the world’s greatest crises, you have a better chance of coming up with stupid things to do when there are several people contributing. And any gang of friends will naturally be diverse enough to have its own specialist, just like on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (having the “wildcard” always makes nights more fun). Just be wary of the friend who runs off and steals kegs from frat houses.
Party like Andrew W.K.
So you got the band together, now what? Well if you ever have doubts about what to do, you can always go with the old reliable college party. Keep in mind that this is a completely different animal compared to whatever you had in high school, and you’ll soon learn which ones are worth going to.
Let me go ahead and state, on the record, that I have never been to a frat party. This is a fact that I do not regret in the least bit. Maybe I just don’t feel like having to pay five bucks just for the privilege of getting a buzz off of Natty Light.
I’ve always had more fun at apartment and house parties. It might be more crowded, but you’re there with friends, and you’ll better appreciate the more intimate atmosphere. Since many of you youngsters will be living on campus, West Campus will be your best bet of finding a place to hang out and party on the weekends.
But let me note that I’m also not a big fan of West Campus, either. I eventually started having more fun at all of the parties further removed from campus, such as on the north campus side. And there of course will be more space compared to a West Campus apartment. Simply put, experience whatever you can while starting off in your early semesters, but expand your horizons. Only be extra careful if it’s a party near Riverside.
One more piece of personal advice: if the cops show up at a party, don’t panic. Most times they just want to ask the host to turn the music down, check their ID and leave. If you start freaking out, then you give them a reason to be suspicious. Stay calm and act like an adult. I’m not making any guarantees of getting off, just don’t run off and turn the night into an episode of COPS.
Late Night Feasting
After a night of revelry, you often come to the next logical step in the party night process—food. I’m always my most ravenous after a night of drinking games, such as “Beer Pong” and “Drink the Beer,” and so my buddies and I head for the best available late-night Austin eatery.
There are many old standbys, like Kerbey Lane, a popular one for UT partygoers. They certainly have some of the best pancakes. But there are other options that are a bit cheaper and just as close to campus. Whether it’s Whataburger, Taco Cabana or the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru, there are plenty of options to hang out with friends to hash out what just happened that night.
Don’t Want to Party?
Granted, this form of fun isn’t meant for everybody. But like I proclaimed in my other advice article, you’re now living in one of the most fun cities in the world. And when it comes to UT students, at least, you have your own golden ticket to explore that city.
I’m talking about your student ID, which gives you the ability to ride on Capital Metrofor free to anywhere in the city. If you don’t have a car or gas money, this is how you will get the chance to do anything you can dream of doing in Austin, from swimming in Barton Springs to seeing a show at the Drafthouse.
And as much as this site can help you in guiding you through this city, possibly one of the best things any freshman can do is to find an upperclassman who is willing to take you under their wing and show you the ropes and possibly corrupt you in some way. Those friends can be the best sources of finding where some band is playing in whatever hole-in-the-wall there is.
Just remember, you only get one chance at college, so take chances, make mistakes and get messy.