Partying: The Vital Aspect of Gallaudet

Hello and welcome to Gallaudet University. I don’t know what kind of student you are, and quite frankly, I don’t give a damn. I don’t care if your highest priority is to study hard and earn top marks in every course or if you’re passionate about pursuing the “personal growth” that every college student is supposed to go through or if you’re just here to play sports.

I’m all for diversity, and for whatever reason you’re here on Kendall Green, welcome. However, it’s time we unify over one common ground that allows everybody who can call themselves a Gallaudetian to participate in: partying!
You got that right. Partying, boozin’ it up, making merry, cutting loose, getting it down, living it up, raising the roof or hell, having a get-together, reveling into the night, having a damn ball, painting the town red. Or, quite simply: socializing.

Now, it’s no secret that the partying lifestyle at Gallaudet has been on the decline. Or rather, the house parties have become nonexistent. The dorm parties will always be there, but the crowded atmosphere gets tiring. More and more overage students (and those underage with fake IDs) flock to the newly hip bar scene at H Street. The Gallaudet administration is probably having their own fête over this trend right now. But, as a fifth-year student who definitely has been a good citizen to Kendall Green the past four years (check my resume), I have this to say: I OBJECT.

Listen up, dear reader, especially if you’re a freshman: parties are utterly important to the overall college experience. Before I go any further, allow me to define my terms of partying. True, what is a raging party without the mandatory drunk-out-of-his/her-mind attendee knocking over a lamp and puking in the stairway? But that aside, what I really mean by a party is an activity where a group of people gather to socialize. Naturally, alcohol is bound to be involved, but don’t think that in this column, I am encouraging you to chug that inexpensive bottle of Smirnoff Vodka (may I suggest strawberry-flavored, to be chased down with cranberry juice?).

No, not at all! I believe you can party without even being under the influence of alcohol or any intoxication of choice, just as long as you are mingling with people at a social gathering. You can be partying if you’re running around the campus at midnight with four other people and a wine bottle, taking swigs at different locations. You can be partying if you’re hosting a board game in your room (okay, if there’s no booze involved it’s just socializing, but for the sake of this column, stay with me here). And if you paid five bucks for an entry fee to a house with a keg filled with people holding red plastic cups, then duh, yes, you are partying.

What I exclude from my terms of partying, however, is getting piss drunk and slashing the furniture in the lobby, breaking glass and/or smearing your own feces on the elevator buttons. Seriously, grow up.
Anyway, the reason I am claiming that partying is so vital to the college experience is because, truthfully, it is the best way to meet new people. I understand if drinking isn’t your thing or if you’re turned off by the way so many college students get wasted and have superficial, drunk conversations that they probably won’t remember in the morning. Trust me, I understand.

The first night of my own NSO week, I showed up at a house party and I just watched the entire scene: a student was saying, “I am so going to black out tonight!”; a girl was passed out on the floor and her friend was trying to pick her up; a sea of unfamiliar faces that seemed to be at ease in this environment stretched out before my eyes, and I just wanted to cry. I wondered what the hell our parents were thinking for actually sending us to a space to be filled with young, horny, drunk people getting the taste of independence for the first time together.

But, my friend, that feeling passed. And if you ever find yourself in my shoes, know that it will for you, too. Besides, let’s face it, we don’t drink for the taste of it. We drink because alcohol’s nickname is Confidence Booster. It’s up to you to know how much boost you need.

However, I will tell you that one mistake you’re not going to able to take back is not partying. You don’t have to party every single weekend if that’s not your thing. You don’t even have to drink if you don’t want to. But people, do yourselves a favor and put yourselves out there.

Don’t not meet new people because you’re intimidated; you’re never the only one! It does not matter how many brave faces you think you see,  reaching out will only make you feel less alone. The more conversations you have, the more perspectives you will gain; the more perspectives, the more broad-minded you will be. Isn’t that what college education is truly about, anyway?
Now allow me to speak directly to the upperclassmen: it’s time we adjust our attitudes toward partying. I’m 21-year-old myself and I enjoy hitting the bars just as much as the next person, but if we are consistently ditching the parties on campus or at houses for the ones that are exclusive to only overage people, we are depriving our younger colleagues from meeting us.

Who else will expose them with the little bits of wisdom we’ve picked up along the way as upperclassmen? I know I enjoyed what the older Gallaudetians had to say when I met them at the parties my freshman year. And, admit it, it’s fun to pick the minds of them cute little rats sometimes.

If you live in a house, host theme parties every once in a while, would you? Do take steps to prevent the hassle later on, though. Communicate with your neighbors to see if they’re cool with a party in your house or backyard that night. Provide water and snacks to those who need sobering up. And for the love of Buddha, do not advertise your party on Facebook! Do it the old-fashioned way: word of mouth.

Oh, and if you’re an on-campus resident, start pre-partying earlier so that you can actually make it to the house party. These people went and got us a keg or four. Choosing to stay in the same place we do our homework and sleep instead is just insulting. Besides, house parties provide for a much larger space to socialize. Really, just freaking go!

That also applies to events. We paid for a 9PM-to-2AM party, why would we finally show up to the last hour and half of it? And then we complain that the event was ok-ok. Go figure, Einsteins.

If no houses step in and there’s no event to attend, then room theme parties are fun as well. Invite your classmates. Invite that dude who always seemed cool but you never got the opportunity to get to know. Invite the people in the elevator on the way to your room.

Okay, if everybody took this particular last bit of my advice then the DPS would be there before any of us can flick the lights on and off to say, “Run!” My point is: party better, and get to know different people while we’re at it.

I’ve taken a vow to party better in all aspects, and you can hold me to it. Better yet, you can take the vow with me.

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3 Responses to “Partying: The Vital Aspect of Gallaudet”

  1. Meredith
    September 20, 2011 at 9:17 PM #

    I’m honestly tempted to write a counterpoint to this article…

  2. Kara
    September 20, 2011 at 10:28 PM #

    Go for it!

  3. lyceum
    September 23, 2011 at 11:13 AM #

    I’m going to assume this was written with the point of getting a reaction; parody, if you will. Nice job. But just in case it wasn’t, I’d like my tax money back that’s putting you through school, AnimalHouse.

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